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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A minute is a unit of measurement of time or of angle.

The minute is a unit of time equal to 1/60th of an hour or 60 seconds. In the UTC time scale, a minute occasionally has 59 or 61 seconds; see leap second. The minute is not an SI unit; however, it is accepted for use with SI units.

The symbol for minute or minutes is min.

The fact that an hour contains 60 minutes is probably due to influences from the Babylonians, who used a base-60 or sexagesimal counting system.


In astronomy, the minute is a unit of angle, the minute of right ascension. It is equal to 1/60th of an hour of

The Earth turns on its polar axis through fifteen minutes of arc in every minute of sidereal time. One minute of arc at the Earth's equator is approximately one nautical mile.

In old astronomical texts minute can also mean a unit of time equal to 1/60th of a day (24 usual minutes). These minutes correspond to the Latin diei scrupulis, and used to express periods of planetary motions. For example, Kepler in Harmonices Mundi gives Saturn year as 10759D12', that is 10759 (Earth) days, 4 hours, and 48 (usual) minutes (roughly 29.5 years).

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MINUTE (Lat. minutes, small; minuere, to make less), an adjective meaning of very small size, petty or trifling; also extremely precise. In this sense the word is pronounced mi-nute. As a substantive and pronounced minnit the word (usually in the plural) is applied to a written summary of the transactions of a meeting of a public or other body, or to a memorandum of instructions, &c. A Treasury minute in the United Kingdom is an official memorandum authorizing certain procedure. "To minute" is to draw up such a summary or memorandum. More particularly, "minute" is used of the sixtieth part of any unit); in time, of an hour; and in astronomy, geometry, geography, &c., of a degree in the measurement of a circle. The sexagesimal system of division was originally used by the ancient Babylonian astronomers, was adopted by Ptolemy; and the sixtieth part of a degree, and its further subdivision into sixty parts, was called in Latin pars minutae prim'ae, and pars minutae secundae respectively, hence the English "minute" and "second."

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also minute, minutė, and minutë



Minute f. (genitive Minute, plural Minuten)

  1. minute (unit of time)

Simple English

A minute is a customary unit of time, it is equal to 60 seconds and there are 60 minutes in an hour. Unlike the second, the hour is not an SI unit.

A minute is also 1/60 of a degree.


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