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Maximise or maximize

To maximise something is to use it to its fullest or to get the most out of it, whether it be a job, a computer, or a bar of soap. If you maximise something you could also be increasing it to its fullest.

One can be a maximiser and you could refer to your activity as maximisation.


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The spelling is for outside the United States. While inside the Unites we spell all the variations with a z.

Examples

Add mirrors. They are an easy way to maximise light and create a feeling of space. [Biz News]

JLIF is now understood to want access to Balfour’s data room and said that it “continues to believe shareholder value for Balfour Beatty will be maximised by these assets being owned by an infrastructure fund with a lower cost of capital, which specialises in investing in low risk, operational infrastructure assets.” [The Telegraph]

RIL said it would provide technical support and share experience with PEMEX for maximisation of refining value and other technical optimisation strategies. [The Hindu]

The secret to making a customer take action is understanding a special formula that maximizes customer motivation, ability and behavioral triggers. [Entrepreneur]

Teams that previously spent considerable effort countering generic intrusion now focus instead on maximizing sales and expanding market share while products enjoy patent protection. [Market Wired]

“Maximizers are people who want the very best. Satisficers are people who want good enough,” says Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and author of “The Paradox of Choice.” [Wall Street Journal]

 

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Comments

  1. Gordon Barlow says:

    On a related topic… Why does one never see the word “maximal”, whereas “minimal” is common. I have never been quite brave enough to use it. Am I alone in my cowardice?

    • Well “maxi” and “mini” are two different prefixes with “maxi” meaning the highest, most or large and “mini” meaning lowest, least or small. So based on that “maximal” would be wrong in that sentence since they’re looking at the smallest. However, if you were looking at the largest “maximal” would be correct but I would suggest using “maximum” instead. It just sounds more full that way plus that “mal” at the end may confuse others since it is usually preceded by “mini”.

    • I’ve heard it used here in New Zealand.

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