(3 syl.) (London). The cloister of the Minims or, rather,
Minoresses (nuns of St. Clare). The Minims were certain reformed
Franciscans, founded by St. Francis de Paula in the fifteenth century.
They went barefooted, and wore a coarse, black woollen stuff, fastened
with a woollen girdle, which they never put off, day or night. The word
is derived from the Latin minimus (the least), in allusion to
the text, “I am less than the least of all saints”. (Eph. iii. 8).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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