The Meaning of Mint Condition: What It Is and How To Use It

This guide will provide you with all of the knowledge you need on the phrase mint condition, including its definition, usage, origin, synonyms, and more!

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What does the phrase mint condition mean?

According to Merriam-Webster, The Free Dictionary, and other English dictionary apps, the term mint condition means that something is in perfect condition, or is in a state of being like new. This term could be used to describe the condition of coins, vintage cars, or other old items that have been kept pristine. This term is usually reserved for miscellaneous items that are old but that are in good quality. These things are like new, but they are not new themselves. The term mint condition means that the item does not have any damage or blemishes.

If someone was to describe a pristine condition collection of postage stamps or other collectibles they could use the term mint condition meaning that they are in excellent condition or like new condition. The term mint condition is used to describe items that are brand new or in perfect condition, even if these items are very old. It is most often used to describe vintage unopened items and collectibles, often which are still in their original packaging.

What is the origin of the phrase mint condition?

The word mint in itself can also be used to describe something that is undamaged. According to Merriam-Webster, a mint is a place like a coin factory where something is manufactured; often coins, medals, or tokens. This relates to the origin of the phrase “mint condition.” If something is in mint condition, it means that it is still in the condition it was in when it left the mint or factory, thus taking on the meaning of being like new.

Mint is also a verb that can mean to make or create something, oftentimes out of metal. This shows why the term mint is used to refer to places where such metal items are made, like a coin factory. Phrases states that to mint something is to form it into a shape by stamping the metal. The earliest citation of the phrase is in British English. The phrase was first used in the Scottish newspaper The Evening Telegraph, which was published in October of 1895, but Etymonline states its first usage from 1887. The quote from the newspaper is as follows.

“A Mauritius post paid 2d blue, unused, with original gum, fine margins all round, and in mint condition, realised £140.”

According to Etymonline, the word mint describing a place where money is coined first came into usage in the early 15th century. This term came from the Old English mynet which meant coin or money. This term emerged in the 8th century following the West Germanic munita, from the Latin moneta, meaning money. 

What are synonyms and antonyms for the term mint condition?

There are many different terms one can use in place of the term mint condition. These are called synonyms. A synonym is a term or word that means the same thing as another word or phrase. Someone might choose to use synonyms to expand their vocabulary or to avoid repeating themselves. This list of synonyms for the term mint condition is from Thesaurus.

  • stainless
  • immaculate
  • virginal
  • idle
  • unsullied
  • untarnished
  • unsoiled
  • vacant
  • new
  • spotless
  • unused
  • intact
  • fresh
  • untainted
  • sterilized
  • first
  • untapped
  • early
  • unspotted
  • uncorrupted
  • refined
  • natural
  • unstained
  • remaining
  • snowy
  • original
  • earliest
  • unaccustomed
  • taintless
  • unadulterated
  • purified
  • wholesome
  • untouched
  • primal
  • unpolluted
  • untried
  • brand new
  • undebased
  • unfamiliar
  • sanitary
  • sterile

What if someone wanted to describe something that was the opposite of mint condition? In this case, they would use an antonym. An antonym is a word or phrase that means the opposite of a given term. If someone was using an antonym to mint condition, this would mean that the item was in poor condition. This list of antonyms for mint condition is also from Thesaurus.

  • ruined
  • effete
  • exhausted
  • worn-down
  • worn
  • bushed
  • pinched
  • busted
  • had it
  • dinged
  • shabby
  • tattered
  • well-worn
  • wearied
  • ragged
  • wiped out
  • burned out
  • stale
  • fatigued
  • worn-out
  • drawn
  • used up
  • frayed
  • wrung out
  • gone
  • totaled
  • overused
  • deteriorated
  • kaput
  • useless
  • old
  • pooped
  • weary
  • threadbare
  • played-out
  • tired out
  • timeworn
  • knocked out
  • drained
  • destroyed
  • consumed
  • haggard
  • pegged out
  • jaded
  • tired
  • shot
  • beat
  • spent
  • hackneyed
  • depleted
  • overworked
  • used

How can the term mint condition be used in a sentence?

The term mint condition can be used to describe any number of things. This word may be used in an auction to describe the pristine nature of an item, on an online marketplace like Ebay to tell customers what the quality of an item is, or simply in conversation. In the below example, the term mint condition will be used in conversation between friends. Here, Kaila and Devon are comparing their Pokemon cards. 

Devon: This one’s my favorite – Charizard.

Kaila: Wow. That’s so cool. You wanna see my favorite one?

Devon: Yeah!

Kaila: Okay, we have to be really careful. This one is my mom’s and it’s super important to her. We have to put it right back after we look at it. It’s a mint condition Pikachu Illustrator card. Only like thirty of these exist in the whole world!

Devon: Whoa!

Overall, the term mint condition means that something is in like-new condition. This is often used to describe valuable collectibles like coins, cars, or other vintage items. This term comes from the meaning of the word mint to refer to a factory where coins are created; therefore, it means that these things are in the same condition they were when they left the factory. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.thefreedictionary.com/mint#:~:text=adj.,painting%20was%20in%20mint%20condition.
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mint%20condition
  3. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mint
  4. https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/mint-condition.html
  5. https://www.etymonline.com/word/mint
  6. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/mint%20condition
  7. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/worn
  8. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/502831/5-most-valuable-pokemon-cards