minor

adjective
mi·nor | \ˈmī-nər \

Definition of minor 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : inferior in importance, size, or degree : comparatively unimportant a minor artist

2 : not having reached majority (see majority sense 2) He is the father of minor children.

3a : having half steps between the second and third, the fifth and sixth, and sometimes the seventh and eighth degrees minor scale

b : based on a minor scale minor key

c : less by a semitone than the corresponding major interval minor third

d : having a minor third above the root minor triad

4 : not serious or involving risk to life minor illness

5 : of or relating to an academic subject requiring fewer courses than a major his minor subjects for his M.A. were plant ecology and entomologyCurrent Biography

minor

noun

Definition of minor (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a person who is not yet old enough to have the rights of an adult

2 : a minor musical interval, scale, key, or mode

3a : a minor academic subject

b : a student taking a specified minor

4 : a determinant or matrix obtained from a given determinant or matrix by eliminating the row and column in which a given element lies

5 minors plural : minor league baseball used with the

minor

verb
minored; minoring; minors

Definition of minor (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to take courses in a minor subject

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Examples of minor in a Sentence

Adjective

Her role in the project was minor. I'm not worried about minor details. The grant covered only a minor part of the cost. The delay will be minor. He suffered a minor heart attack.

Noun

families with children who are still minors The nightclub was shut down for selling alcohol to a minor. She majored in chemistry with a minor in biology.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Though Moshfegh never really rounds the boyfriend into a full, necessary character (possibly the novel’s one minor flaw), the narrator recalls several pitiful and blackly humorous moments with him. Walton Muyumba, latimes.com, "Detachment and dreaming in 'My Year of Rest and Relaxation' by Ottessa Moshfegh," 12 July 2018 The National Weather Service says there also is a chance of spotty minor coastal flooding with Wednesday night’s high tide. Joseph A. Gambardello, Philly.com, "Increased risk of rip currents at the Shore," 11 July 2018 There are around 3,500 other people in the federal system serving a life-without-parole sentence, for first-time, non-violent drug offenses, which is just a crazy amount of people for something that could be so minor as the possession of marijuana. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "How a Former Glamour College Woman of the Year Helped Break the Alice Johnson Story," 13 July 2018 Jatzyri died in a fire Saturday morning that also injured another child and two adults at the College Park Townhomes in the 700 block of North 70th Terrace in Kansas City, Kan. Two firefighters suffered minor injures battling the fire. Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "Family identifies 4-year-old girl killed in Kansas City, Kan., fire," 10 July 2018 In instances where the relationship of a minor and accompanying adult can’t be immediately determined, CBP may ask additional questions to determine relationship. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Customs Agent Hassled Mother and Daughter for Having Different Last Names," 9 July 2018 Lovullo said Buchholz likely will start for one of the club’s minor-league affiliates next week and should be available to come off the disabled list as soon as the team needs him after the All-Star break. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks' Torey Lovullo: Initial update on Shelby Miller’s elbow positive," 13 July 2018 An undersized lefty with big fastball and good results throughout his minor-league career, Sheffield pitched his way to Class AAA Scranton this season and has a 2.53 ERA in his first 57 innings at the level. Ted Berg, For The Win, "7 MLB prospects to watch at the 2018 Futures Game," 13 July 2018 For one thing, the seams on a minor-league baseball were different than on an NCAA ball. Scott Lauber, Philly.com, "Phillies ace Aaron Nola's devastating offspeed pitches put him in the fast lane to the All-Star Game," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The counts include many of those children, but also include thousands of children who came to the country as unaccompanied minors and are housed in the same federally funded shelters. Monique O. Madan, miamiherald, "Here’s a national map of the shelters housing immigrant children," 29 June 2018 That includes immigrant children who arrived as unaccompanied minors, and the more recent arrivals of children who have been separated from their parents. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "What we know about Southwest Key location visited by Melania Trump," 28 June 2018 Children are also tracked and treated the same as minors who arrived on their own. NBC News, "Many children detained under 'zero tolerance' border policy are under 13," 21 June 2018 The vast majority in its care still came to the United States alone as unaccompanied minors, mainly from Guatemala and El Salvador. New York Times, "The Billion-Dollar Business of Operating Shelters for Migrant Children," 21 June 2018 The children are classified as unaccompanied minors, a legal term generally used for children who cross the border alone and have a possible sponsor in the US willing to care for them. The Christian Science Monitor, "Next hurdle at the border: how to reunite children with families," 21 June 2018 Under the new policy, which has been enforced since May, the Department of Homeland Security automatically charges all adults crossing the border with a misdemeanor—even asylum seekers—and labels their children as unaccompanied minors. Diana Budds, Curbed, "This is the Texas tent camp meant as shelter for migrant children," 20 June 2018 The children are classified as unaccompanied minors, a legal term generally used for children who cross the border alone and have a possible sponsor in the U.S. willing to care for them. chicagotribune.com, "No clear plan yet on how to reunite parents with children at border," 20 June 2018 Advocates worry that Casa Padre doesn’t have the number of employees or the experience to help children in such difficult circumstances, as opposed to the larger population of immigrants who crossed the border as unaccompanied minors. Michael Miller, Emma Brown And Aaron C. Davis, star-telegram, "Inside a former Walmart on the Texas-Mexico border that holds nearly 1,500 immigrant boys," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 1948 George graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Tufts College (now University), majoring in biology and chemistry, minoring in physics. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 7/13," 13 July 2018 Lazaro, who majored in Sports Management and minored in Marketing, graduated from FIU on April 28. Walter Villa, miamiherald, "In a year in which FIU baseball swept UM, find out which Panther shocked a Canes star," 29 May 2018 But the book will also contain Ben's perspective; though now a skilled woodworker, Ben actually majored in history and minored in English and creative writing. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Golly, Y'all! Home Town's Erin and Ben Napier Just Scored Their First Book Deal," 29 Mar. 2018 Yet virtually all of them matriculated to college, with 30 percent at top 100 national universities, and 85 percent majoring or minoring in computer science. Christina Lewis, The Root, "Change Your Life by Celebrating Failure," 19 Mar. 2018 Clark started his radio career in 1945 after minoring in radio at Syracuse. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "IndyStar 2018 NCAA tournament celebrity alumni bracket," 12 Mar. 2018 Hefner graduated in 1949 and also double-minored in creative writing and art. Kate Beckman, Cosmopolitan, "15 Things You Never Knew About Hugh Hefner," 25 June 2015 T-Bob graduated from LSU with a degree in general studies, but he also may have minored in general mayhem. Ron Higgins, NOLA.com, "When is more information TMI? T-Bob Hebert asks, no ifs, ands, or butts ...," 9 Aug. 2017 Additionally, Rose is charged with three misdemeanors: reckless endangerment, attempt to elude and minor in possession of alcohol. Ashley Remkus, AL.com, "Athens man accused of attacking ex-wife, kidnapping their 10-month-old baby during home break-in," 9 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of minor

Adjective

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for minor

Adjective

Latin, smaller, inferior; akin to Old High German minniro smaller, Latin minuere to lessen

Noun

see minor entry 1

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Learn More about minor

Dictionary Entries near minor

minny

Minoan

mino bird

minor

minorate

minoration

minor axis

Phrases Related to minor

minor in

minor leaguer

minor miracle

the minors

Statistics for minor

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for minor

The first known use of minor was in 1526

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More Definitions for minor

minor

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of minor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not very important or valuable

: small in number, quantity, or extent

: not very serious : not causing much trouble or damage

minor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of minor (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is not yet old enough to have the rights of an adult

: a second subject studied by a college or university student in addition to a main subject

minor

adjective
mi·nor | \ˈmī-nər \

Kids Definition of minor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not great in size, importance, or seriousness minor details a minor injury

2 : of or relating to a musical scale having the third tone lowered a half step

minor

noun

Kids Definition of minor (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person too young to have the full rights of an adult

minor

adjective
mi·nor | \ˈmī-nər \

Medical Definition of minor 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: not serious or involving risk to life minor illness a minor operation — compare major

minor

noun

Medical Definition of minor (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person of either sex under the age of legal qualification for adult rights and responsibilities that has traditionally been 21 in the United States but is now 18 in many states or sometimes less under certain circumstances (as marriage or pregnancy)

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minor

noun
mi·nor

Legal Definition of minor 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has not yet reached the age of majority — compare adult, juvenile, major

minor

adjective

Legal Definition of minor (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : being less important or serious a minor official a minor offense

b : involving, relating to, or dealing with less important matters

2 : having the status of a minor minor children

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Comments on minor

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