minor

1 of 3

adjective

mi·​nor ˈmī-nər How to pronounce minor (audio)
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.
3
a
: 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

2 of 3

noun

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
3
a
: 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

3 of 3

verb

minored; minoring; minors

intransitive verb

: to take courses in a minor subject

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The report cited a May 2020 incident in which more than 120 people were arrested on felony rioting charges using a verbatim probable cause statement, and prosecutors abandoned more than 100 of the cases after finding a lack of evidence to support even minor charges. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, 14 June 2024 Detailed analysis revealed that this wasn’t just a minor fluctuation but a warning sign. Jessica Billingsley, Rolling Stone, 14 June 2024
Noun
Similarly, Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare determined that the risks of such treatments for minors outweigh the potential benefits, emphasizing the need for more research into their impact. Sara Stockton, New York Daily News, 18 June 2024 No jurisdiction in the state issues criminal citations to minors, but people under age 18 can receive juvenile civil citations, which refer the recipient to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. Darcy Costello, Baltimore Sun, 14 June 2024
Verb
Emma, one of about 20 Oxford survivors at the university, decided to minor in women’s studies, hoping to one day get a doctorate, maybe become a professor and teach students like her. John Woodrow Cox, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Feb. 2023 While earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism, Carly chose to minor in event planning. Carly Totten, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Dec. 2022 See all Example Sentences for minor 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'minor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Noun

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

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of minor was in 1526

Dictionary Entries Near minor

Cite this Entry

“Minor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minor. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

minor

1 of 2 adjective
mi·​nor ˈmī-nər How to pronounce minor (audio)
1
: less in size, importance, or value
a minor poet
a minor injury
2
: not having reached the age to have full civil rights
3
a
: relating to or being a musical scale in which the third tone is lowered a half step
b
: based on a minor scale
minor key

minor

2 of 2 noun
: a person who has not reached the age to have full civil rights

Medical Definition

minor

1 of 2 adjective
mi·​nor ˈmī-nər How to pronounce minor (audio)
: not serious or involving risk to life
minor illness
a minor operation
compare major

minor

2 of 2 noun
: 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)

Legal Definition

minor

1 of 2 noun
mi·​nor
: a person who has not yet reached the age of majority compare adult, juvenile, major

minor

2 of 2 adjective
1
a
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on minor

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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