optimum vs optimal 


People often commit mistakes in expressing words in a communication. Words may imply the same meaning, but it is necessary to consider the manner as to its use. When you hear the words ‘optimum and optimal’, what is the right term to use in making up with your thoughts? Can these words be expressed interchangeably? Let’s have a review of these English terms.

Optimum refers to the degree in which something is held at its best or at its most effective state. It deals with favorable conditions. It exceeds the expectations more than just the satisfactory level. This word can be used as an adjective or a noun depending on its usage. When express as a noun, its plural form is changed into “optima.” Historically speaking, this word was first used around 1879.

Whereas, when we say optimal, it means conditions associated with best possible alternatives with the view of looking at the favorable outcome. It is also used as an adjective or a noun as well as an adverb. When using as a noun, it becomes ‘optimality’ while if it is used as an adverb it becomes ‘optimally.’ This word was first used around 1890’s.


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