minority

noun, often attributive
mi·​nor·​i·​ty | \mə-ˈnȯr-ə-tē, 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

And though in the minority, there are shoppers without child that buy into this section. Alexandra Ilyashov, Glamour, "A Case For Wearing Maternity Jeans When You’re Not Pregnant," 6 Dec. 2018 There is a very real conversation to be had about the treatment of minority communities in this country. Fox News, "Kellyanne Conway reacts to anonymous 'resistance' NYT op-ed," 5 Sep. 2018 That extended to her school, which also set her apart, placing her in a group of children needing special care, alongside some who were dealing with family breakups or who belonged to the minority Roma community. Raphael Minder, New York Times, "Aiming for Miss Universe — and Universal Transgender Rights," 13 July 2018 The discrimination faced by poor and minority communities in the pre-Uber era had at least three elements. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Ride-Hailing Apps May Benefit Poor and Minority Communities The Most, Study Suggests," 30 June 2018 Under other goals of the construction managers, Gilbane Building Co. and M+W Group, Wisconsin residents would fill 70 percent of the work hours on the multi-year project, and 10 percent of the hours would be filled by minorities, women or veterans. Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Foxconn awards $14 million in contracts for construction of first building at Racine County campus," 27 June 2018 Between 2009 and 2014, banks across the U.S. disproportionately closed branches in minority communities. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Your Bank Is a White Supremacist," 22 June 2018 Low-income neighborhoods and minority communities would see big investments in job training programs, small business incentives and education. Ryan Lillis, sacbee, "Would Sacramento's proposed sales tax increase go to pensions, salaries?," 21 June 2018 In my view, what set O'Rourke apart from Cruz was his willingness to engage and connect with voters to better understand the lived experiences of Black, brown, and other minority residents in the Lone Star State. Taylor Crumpton, Teen Vogue, "Beto O'Rourke Won With Texas's Black Women Because We Are Still the Moral Compass of United States Politics," 12 Nov. 2018

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

12 Dec 2018

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 \
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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