minority

noun, often attributive
mi·​nor·​i·​ty | \ mə-ˈnȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce minority (audio) , mī-, -ˈnär-\
plural minorities

Definition of minority

1a : the period before attainment of majority (see majority sense 2)
b : the state of being a legal minor
2 : the smaller in number of two groups constituting a whole specifically : a group having less than the number of votes necessary for control The proposition was opposed by a minority of voters.
3a : a part of a population differing from others in some characteristics and often subjected to differential treatment the country's ethnic minorities
b : a member of a minority group an effort to hire more minorities

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Synonyms for minority

Synonyms

adolescence, nonage

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Examples of minority in a Sentence

The proposal is opposed by a minority of voters. The Republicans are now the minority in the Senate. The group is becoming an influential minority in the community.
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Recent Examples on the Web

With a proud history of advocating for inclusion and a diverse rank-and-file (minorities make up over a third of its membership), AFGE represents 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia. Kim Kelly, The New Republic, "Abolish ICE’s Union," 2 Sep. 2019 Reviving old tactics, Netanyahu has been seeking to galvanize his right-wing base by painting the Arab minority as disloyal and even treasonous. Washington Post, "Arab leader seeks to shake up Israeli election," 31 Aug. 2019 On Sunday, August 25, tens of thousands of Rohingyans convened in the camp to commemorate the second anniversary of a campaign of violence launched by the Myanmar military on the ethnic Muslim minority in the country's Rakhine State. Leif Coorlim And Thomas Page, CNN, "Stolen son: The child traffickers preying on the Rohingya," 31 Aug. 2019 Shaw, as a member of the House minority, repeatedly voted in favor of a $3,000 dividend. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Dunleavy picks state Rep. Laddie Shaw to fill Alaska state Senate vacancy," 31 Aug. 2019 African Americans, Mexican Americans and other minorities formed civil-rights organizations but also joined unions. Peter Cole, Time, "Beyond Labor Day: 3 Ways Unions Have Helped American Workers," 30 Aug. 2019 But there are black players in the league and other minorities in our sport. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, "Evander Kane says hockey “far behind” other sports on awareness of racism," 30 Aug. 2019 The filibuster was once a democratic tool to give voice to the government minority. The Christian Science Monitor, "Dousing the political fire over the Amazon," 27 Aug. 2019 In 2013, the ORNL honored Russell by creating the Liane B. Russell Distinguished Early Career Fellowship, a three-year program that seeks to foster long-term career opportunities at the lab—particularly for minority and female scientists. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Remembering Liane Russell, the Geneticist Who Studied Radiation’s Harmful Effects on Embryos," 26 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minority.' 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 minority

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for minority

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for minority

The first known use of minority was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for minority

minority

noun

English Language Learners Definition of minority

: a number or amount that is less than half of a total
: the group that is the smaller part of a larger group
: a group of people who are different from the larger group in a country, area, etc., in some way (such as race or religion)

minority

noun
mi·​nor·​i·​ty | \ mə-ˈnȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce minority (audio) \
plural minorities

Kids Definition of minority

1 : the state of not being old enough to have the full rights of an adult
2 : a number less than half of a total The proposal is opposed by a minority of voters.
3 : a group that makes up a smaller part of a larger group The animals affected are a minority.
4 : a part of a population that is in some ways (as in race or religion) different from others

minority

noun
mi·​nor·​i·​ty
plural minorities

Legal Definition of minority

1a : the period before attainment of majority
b : the state of being a minor
2 : the smaller of two groups constituting a whole: as
a : a group (as in a legislative body) having less than the number of votes necessary for control
b : a group of judges among those hearing an appeal who disagree with the majority's judgment : dissent sense 3
c : a group of jurisdictions taking a less widespread approach to or view of a legal question, issue, or problem
3a : a part of a population differing especially from the dominant group in some characteristics (as race, sex, or national origin) and often subject to differential treatment
b : a member of a minority an effort to hire more minorities

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