mi·​nor | \ ˈmī-nər How to pronounce minor (audio) \

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



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


minored; minoring; minors

Definition of minor (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to take courses in a minor subject

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Synonyms & Antonyms for minor

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Tingler, however, has worked in baseball since 2007 in a variety of roles, from the minor leagues to the front office. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Why Tony Gwynn Jr. thinks Will Venable is the right man for Detroit Tigers manager job," 15 Oct. 2020 There are two important, somewhat related issues: coronavirus and the structure of the minor leagues. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants mailbag: Buster Posey’s 2021 role and Hall of Fame chances both uncertain," 15 Oct. 2020 With the minor leagues shuttered for the 2020 season, the Braves demoted Wright in August to their alternate training site – Coolray Field, home of the Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Buckhorn’s Kyle Wright has come a long way for the Atlanta Braves in 2020," 14 Oct. 2020 Playing an unprecedented role in this year’s draft, the coronavirus pandemic caused the cancellation of the annual combine, as well as season-ending tournaments in the minor leagues and college ranks. Brett Shweky, sun-sentinel.com, "Florida Panthers select Anton Lundell with 12th pick in NHL draft," 6 Oct. 2020 In May 2019, Davis was in the minor leagues hoping for one more shot. Dom Amore, courant.com, "Dom Amore: Postseason hero Rajai Davis is home this October, a valuable player in New London, encouraging kids to read," 5 Oct. 2020 After years of steady progress that started with a stint in independent ball in 2013 and continued with a slow but steady rise through the minor leagues with the San Diego Padres, Yardley broke through to the major leagues in 2019. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waiver claim and sidearmer Eric Yardley has been as reliable as they come out of Brewers' bullpen," 1 Oct. 2020 That didn't prohibit him from batting .348 with a .970 OPS and 20 homers through 130 games across two levels in the minor leagues in 2018. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Twins' Alex Kirilloff becomes first MLB player to make debut by starting postseason game," 30 Sep. 2020 With no minor leagues because of the pandemic, Crochet gained tips and experience at the Schaumburg training facility. Lamond Pope, chicagotribune.com, "4 takeaways from the White Sox-Reds series, including the ‘loud bang’ of Garrett Crochet’s pitches and the Tim Anderson show during Fox’s national broadcast," 21 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hanby was convicted on five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "Despite the odds, Anchorage used to have 3 drive-in movie theaters in operation at the same time," 11 Oct. 2020 Troopers said the drivers of both vehicles were injured, as were three passengers in the Toyota, including a minor. Nyssa Kruse, Arkansas Online, "1 dead, 5 injured in north Arkansas crash, state police say," 30 Sep. 2020 Barry’s got some of the best vision my father ever tested, as a minor-leaguer actually. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "How did A’s Tommy La Stella become the majors’ toughest hitter to strike out?," 28 Sep. 2020 The most common student citations issued are for possession of an electronic smoking device by a minor. Jennifer Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Police in schools: Park Ridge aldermen ask tough questions about training of officers stationed at Maine South, Maine East," 15 Sep. 2020 Rittenhouse faces five felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, and a misdemeanor charge for possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor. Arkansas Online, "Teen charged in Kenosha killings stalls return to Wisconsin," 28 Aug. 2020 Rittenhouse faces five felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, and a misdemeanor charge for possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, "Extradition hearing for Kenosha shooting suspect, 17, pushed to Sept. 25," 28 Aug. 2020 Davis faces one count of production of child pornography between November 2019 and January 2020, a count of possessing child pornography in January and one count of transferring obscene material to a minor between December 2019 and January 2020. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "West Virginia man indicted on federal child exploitation charges in Madison County," 24 Sep. 2020 The Lightning advanced despite failing to score on five power plays, including a double-minor on Andy Greene for high-sticking Kucherov with 23 seconds left in regulation that carried into overtime. Stephen Whyno, orlandosentinel.com, "Tampa Bay Lightning beat New York Islanders in OT, reach Stanley Cup Final," 18 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Undergraduates now have two ways to pursue ethnic studies: Students majoring in history and literature can focus on the subject, and students can minor in ethnicity, migration, rights. Kate Taylor, New York Times, "Denying a Professor Tenure, Harvard Sparks a Debate Over Ethnic Studies," 2 Jan. 2020 Jake hasn’t decided on a future career, but may minor in music in college. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, "Fiddle Fest features fast fingers and bows at Medina County library," 17 Feb. 2020 Volunteer doctors and nurses, some of them migrants themselves, tend to minor illnesses and injuries from a rudimentary open-air clinic operated by Global Response Management, a small aid group. ExpressNews.com, "Migrants hunkered down in crowded, filthy border encampment," 17 Nov. 2019 Zeigler, who minored in journalism at the University Alabama in the 1970s, administered the Facebook page. al, "How the I-10 project was killed," 1 Sep. 2019 Most Auburn students minoring in German are engineering majors. USA TODAY, "Crystal Cathedral reborn Catholic, 'Conjuring' house, Wiki ‘editathon’: News from around our 50 states," 11 July 2019 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

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


1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for minor

Adjective and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for minor

Time Traveler

The first known use of minor was in 1526

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Statistics for minor

Last Updated

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Minor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minor. Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for minor


How to pronounce minor (audio)

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



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


mi·​nor | \ ˈmī-nər How to pronounce minor (audio) \

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



Kids Definition of minor (Entry 2 of 2)

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


mi·​nor | \ ˈmī-nər How to pronounce minor (audio) \

Medical Definition of minor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



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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Legal Definition of minor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



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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