toggle menu
1000+ books


used in a sentence
2 meanings
(click/touch triangles for details)
1  —as in:
a nominal fee
Definition insignificantly small
  • The insurance company proposes a nominal fee for all elective care so that patients will join the effort to eliminate unnecessary expense.
nominal = small
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • There's also a nominal airport tax as you depart.
  • nominal = small
  • She receives only a nominal salary. Her real income comes from her stock options.
  • nominal = insignificantly small
  • Even your constant little heart need not take fright at such a nominal change.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • nominal = small
  • They made more bricks, and this time Deo and the committee managed to get a local craftsman to fire the bricks for a nominal fee.
    Tracy Kidder  --  Strength in What Remains
  • nominal = small
  • It is a gem, and 'Full many a gem,' as the poet says, has been allowed to go at a nominal price because the public knew no better, because...
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • nominal = small
  • ...there is now another vacancy open which entitles a member of the League to a salary of £4 a week for purely nominal services.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • nominal = insignificantly small
  • Their previous home had a mud roof which leaked in the rain and we had two spare rooms, so they stayed with us for a nominal rent and their children went to our school for free.
    Malala Yousafzai  --  I Am Malala
  • nominal = insignificantly small
  • Edmund might, in the common phrase, do the duty of Thornton, that is, he might read prayers and preach, without giving up Mansfield Park: he might ride over every Sunday, to a house nominally inhabited, and go through divine service; he might be the clergyman of Thornton Lacey every seventh day, for three or four hours, if that would content him.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • nominally = barely (or only partially)
  • Tom Bertram had of late spent so little of his time at home that he could be only nominally missed; and Lady Bertram was soon astonished to find how very well they did even without his father, how well Edmund could supply his place in carving, talking to the steward, writing to the attorney, settling with the servants, and equally saving her from all possible fatigue or exertion in every particular but that of directing her letters.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
nominally = in a small manner

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
2  —as in:
he's nominally in charge
Definition in form or name, but not in reality
  • It was nominally written by the artist, but everyone suspects a ghostwriter did the bulk of the work.
nominally = in name only
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • The King became a nominal monarch when he was forced to accept the constitution and democratic control of the state.
  • nominal = in name, but not in reality
  • When they refer to the 100-year change in nominal average wages, they are referring to wages that are not adjusted for inflation (changing prices over the years).
  • nominal = in form or name, but not in reality
  • The nominal value of my company declined when the stock market crashed yesterday, but the company is intrinsically as valuable as the day before.
  • I should like to sit talking with you here all day, but we must not forget the ladies below, and so good-bye, my dear, my amiable, my excellent Fanny, for though we shall nominally part in the breakfast-parlour, I must take leave of you here.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • nominally = officially (in form, but not reality)
  • "I think he has only been its nominal head for many years," said Anne.
    Lucy Maud Montgomery  --  Anne Of Green Gables
  • nominal = in name
  • He says that there can be no high civilization without enslavement of the masses, either nominal or real.
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • nominal = in form or name only
  • Though nominally included in the census of Christendom, he was still an alien to it.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • nominally = officially
  • Nominally he is only an adjutant on Kutuzov's staff, but he does everything alone.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • nominally = officially (in title)
  • And our dinner hour is nominally (for we dine at all hours) five!
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
nominally = officially (in name only)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
Less commonly:
Less commonly, in grammar, nominal means "pertaining to a noun or to a word group that functions as a noun". Even less commonly and typically in the context of space travel, nominal can mean that things are operating in a normal or expected manner—as when Andy Weir wrote "All stats nominal," in his book, The Martian.
Search for other examples by interest
General — Google News®
General — Time® Magazine
General — Wikipedia®
Architecture — Google® books - Architecture
Business — Bloomberg®
Business — The Economist®
Classic Literature — Google® books - Classical Literature
Engineering — Google® books - Engineering
Engineering — Popular Mechanics®
Engineering — Discover Magazine®
Fine Arts & Music — Google® books - Art
History — Google® books - History
Human Behavior — Google® books - Psychology
Human Behavior — Psychology Today®
Law — FindLaw®
Law — Google® books - Law
Logic & Reasoning — Google® books - Reasoning
Medicine — Web MD®
Medicine — Google® books - Medicine
Nature & Ecology — National Geographic®
Nature & Ecology — Google® books - Nature
Personal Finance — Kiplinger® (Personal Finance)
Philosophy — Google® books - Philosophy
Public Policy & Politics — Newsweek®
Public Policy & Politics — Real Clear Politics®
Public Policy & Politics — Google® books - Politics
Religion & Spirtuality — Google® books - Religion
Religion - Christianity — Bible Gateway®
Religion - Christianity — Google® books - Christianity
Science — Popular Science®
Science — Scientific American®
Science — Google® books - Science
Sports — Sports Illustrated®