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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for minority

Synonyms

adolescence, nonage

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In other large cities, like Chicago, this policy blocked minorities out of 60% of the city's housing. Kaila White, azcentral, "Did Phoenix ever segregate where minorities could live? Find out with Valley 101 podcast," 10 June 2019 Jeff echoed a 2014 study, which called for encouraging and enabling minorities to gain swimming skills. Max Londberg, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati child's drowning in Myrtle Beach underscores racial disparity in pool deaths," 10 June 2019 From the end of Reconstruction into the 1960s, chief executives rarely took action to faithfully execute the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when the rights of African Americans and other racial minorities were being violated. Michael Kazin, The New Republic, "The Impossibility of Impeachment," 10 June 2019 The hit show also picked up best direction of a musical for Rachel Chavkin, who decried the lack of female and minority theater directors, and best featured actor in a musical to Broadway veteran Andre DeShields. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Hadestown’ dominates Tony Awards," 9 June 2019 Farmer satisfies the Rooney Rule that says teams must interview minority candidates. John Mcclain, Houston Chronicle, "Ray Farmer among Texans GM candidates," 8 June 2019 The junta’s supporters argue that the charter allows minority government more broadly. The Economist, "The leader of the Thai junta tortures the rules to remain in power," 8 June 2019 Both Sensetime and Megvii are Chinese suppliers of equipment to officials in Xinjiang, where minorities of mostly Uighurs and other Muslims are being tracked and held in internment camps. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Microsoft Removes Face Recognition Photos Amid Privacy Controversy," 7 June 2019 For Toronto immigrants, Raptors’ rise to NBA Finals is personal For the heavily immigrant and minority fanbase, the Toronto Raptors’ rise to the NBA Finals already carries an air of victory. Christian Science Monitor, "World | Americas," 7 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of minority

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about minority

Statistics for minority

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for minority

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on minority

What made you want to look up minority? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!