MINUTE (Lat. minutus, 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, etc. 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, etc., 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 primae, and pars minutae secundae respectively, hence the English " minute " and " second."
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)