# Definition:Angle/Unit/Minute

< Definition:Angle | Unit

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## Definition

The **minute (of arc)** is a measurement of plane angles, symbolized by $'$.

- $1$
**minute**$= 60$ seconds (of arc) $= \dfrac 1 {60}$ of a degree of arc.

## Historical Note

The division of the **degrees** into $60$ subdivisions originates from the Babylonians, who used a sexagesimal (base $60$) system for the purposes of mathematics and astronomy.

## Linguistic Note

The word **minute**, in the context of the measurement of time and of angle, derives from its initial definition as a **minute part of an hour** or of a **degree of arc**.

In this context the word **minute** (meaning: the aggregation of $60$ seconds) is pronounced ** min-it**.

The word **minute** (as used in the phrase **minute part**) is pronounced **my- nyoot** and means

**small**.

So the fact that the two words are spelt identically is not a coincidence.

## Sources

- Weisstein, Eric W. "Arc Minute." From
*MathWorld*--A Wolfram Web Resource. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/ArcMinute.html