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Meaning of minimal pair

min'imal pair'

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a pair of words, as pin and bin, or bet and bed, differing only by one sound in the same position in each word, esp. when such a pair is taken as evidence for the existence of a phonemic contrast between the two sounds.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.