Minuet vs minute

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A minuet is a ballroom dance with short, dainty steps. The minuet is a dignified dance for a group of couples, first popular in seventeenth century France. Music for this dance is also called a minuet, often part of a sonata, symphony or suite. The beat is in 3/4 time. Minuet comes from the French word menuet, meaning fine, delicate, small, narrow.

Minute has two meanings. 1.) When the accent is on the second syllable, miNUTE, it functions as an adjective meaning small, tiny, insignificant. The noun form is minuteness. Minute comes from the Latin minutus, meaning little, small. 2.) When the accent is on the first syllable, MINute, it functions as a noun meaning one sixtieth of an hour, sixty seconds. Minute may also be a sixtieth of a degree of angular measure. The use of minute to mean sixty seconds appears in the late fourteenth century, derived from the Old French word minute, meaning short note.


And just when their routines seemed far removed from Gluck’s world, the dancers would do something that resembled a minuet or other period dance. (Reuters)

A film adaptation, directed by Scott Cooper and also called “Black Mass,” has just been released; it dramatizes the story as a lethal minuet between the wily criminal Bulger (played by Johnny Depp) and the flashy, jocular F.B.I. agent named John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), who handles him. (The New Yorker)

Surprising histories and insights can be recorded in minute shifts of these isotopes. (Ars Technica)
Every minute detail matters. (Vanity Fair)

A night in which the air game ruled, some hot guns scored, and just a single lucky break in the dying minute would have stolen the Bisons the game. (The Winnipeg Free Press)

A New York minute, as defined by Johnny Carson, is the interval between a Manhattan traffic light turning green and the guy behind you honking his horn. (Forbes)