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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Synonyms & Antonyms for minor

Synonyms: Adjective

inferior, junior, less, lesser, lower, smaller, subordinate

Antonyms: Adjective

greater, higher, major, more, primary, prime, senior, superior, superordinate

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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

Within the desktop software users can play, share, and even trim down videos for minor edits. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "AMD ReLive review: A stylish video capture tool for Radeon graphics cards," 31 Jan. 2019 Earlier this week, leaders of the Jesuits in New York and New England released a list of 50 clergy who had credible allegations of abuse of a minor made against them since 1950. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, "First Priest Arrested in New Jersey Sex-Abuse Investigation," 18 Jan. 2019 As a result, I was charged not with leaving my son in the car, but with the misdemeanor of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Kim Brooks, Good Housekeeping, "I Left My Son Alone In the Car for 5 Minutes — And It Caused a Two-Year Legal Nightmare," 14 Aug. 2018 Theft 9300 block of Southwest 56th Street in Cooper City, July 2, 1:50 a.m. While an officer was conducting their investigation for a minor who habitually runs away, the minor returned home. Dan White, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Davie, Cooper City area crime reports," 11 July 2018 In fact, most styes are so minor that people don’t even go to the doctor for them, Aaron Zimmerman, O.D., an associate professor of clinical optometry at The Ohio State University, tells SELF. Korin Miller, SELF, "Sam Smith Reveals He Had Surgery to Remove a Stye," 15 Jan. 2019 Yesterday's disruption at Heathrow has been minor compared to the holiday mess at Gatwick Airport, which shut down after an airport security officer spotted two drones flying over a perimeter road. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "What Are Airports Going to Do About Drones?," 9 Jan. 2019 Granted, my situation was minor compared to that of people whose lives were embroiled with children, finances, real estate. Abby Ellin, Marie Claire, "I Almost Married a Con Man," 8 Jan. 2019 Some of these tilts are minor (like Mercury, which is tilted at 2.11 degrees). Brian Resnick, Vox, "The winter solstice is Friday: 8 things to know about the shortest day of the year," 18 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Once on the bus, the father told Border Patrol that the minor was sick with a fever and vomiting. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Migrant girl dies in Border Patrol’s custody," 15 Dec. 2018 In addition, to prevent bulk orders being distributed to minors, Juul will restrict customers to buying just 15 pod packages a month. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Here’s Everything You Need To Know About the Juul Flavor Ban," 15 Nov. 2018 Lawyers representing two children being held in Connecticut after being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border will argue in front of a federal judge Wednesday morning that the minors should be promptly reunified with their parents. Kathleen Mcwilliams, courant.com, "Court To Hear Arguments In Case Of Two Children Held In Connecticut Separated From Their Parents At The Border," 11 July 2018 Bethany has not said how many immigrant minors under its care have been reunified with their parents since Trump abandoned his separation policy on June 20, only that the process is ongoing. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Mich. foster group: Reunifications have started; no one's being adopted," 30 June 2018 The minors wouldn’t be those separated from parents at the border but those caught arriving in the United States alone, a Defense Department spokesman said. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "Government looks to house 20,000 immigrant kids on military bases in Texas, Arkansas," 21 June 2018 Wasserman Schultz said the facility was being used for an estimated 1,000 children, aged 13 to 17 — most of whom arrived as unaccompanied minors and about 10 percent of whom are children separated from their families at the border. Joshua Replogle And Ben Fox, chicagotribune.com, "Lawmakers barred from child migrant facility in Florida," 19 June 2018 Two minors were inside Lockwood's home, police said. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage man threatened wife, fired shots through apartment wall, police say," 7 June 2018 The minor was a female acquaintance and under the age of 13 years old at the time, police said. Megan Jones, Aurora Beacon-News, "Oswego man charged with predatory criminal sexual assault," 29 May 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 and Noun

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

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Learn More about minor

Dictionary Entries near minor

minny

Minoan

mino bird

minor

minorate

minoration

minor axis

Statistics for minor

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

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
US : 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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More from Merriam-Webster on minor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with minor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for minor

Spanish Central: Translation of minor

Nglish: Translation of minor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of minor for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about minor

Comments on minor

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