min·i·a·ture (mĭnē-ə-chr′, -chər, mĭnə-)
a. A copy or model that represents or reproduces something in a greatly reduced size.
b. Something small of its class.
a. A small painting executed with great detail, often on a surface such as ivory or vellum.
b. A small portrait, picture, or decorative letter on an illuminated manuscript.
c. The art of painting miniatures.
Greatly reduced in size or scale. See Synonyms at small.
[Italian miniatura, illumination of manuscripts, small painting, from miniare, to illuminate, from Latin miniāre, to color red, from minium, cinnabar, red lead (often used to adulterate cinnabar), probably of pre-Roman Iberian origin (since the Romans obtained most of their cinnabar from Spain); akin to Minius, ancient Roman name of the Miño (Minho) River of Galicia and northern Portugal.]
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