If you look in the dictionary, this adjective bears a variety of meanings. We’re going to define how it is most commonly used in the design industry, however. Plus, we’ve included example sentences below of all three usages so that you’ll be sure to understand.
1. One meaning is that of being insignificant or not worth mentioning.
Example: The manufacturer explained to him that, for a nominal fee, they would include newest specification binder with the order shipment.
2. Another definition is being expected, satisfactory, or according to plan.
Example: Except for the security system failure, all was nominal during the tenant’s move into their newly designed space.
3. The last meaning: approximate, or being a theoretical size that might slightly differ from the real size.
Example: Typically, lumber sizes are nominal instead of actual – i.e. what is known as a “2 x 4” actually has the true dimensions of 1-1/2 inches x 3-1/2 inches.