minority

noun

mi·​nor·​i·​ty mə-ˈnȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce minority (audio)
mī-,
-ˈnär-
plural minorities
1
a
: the smaller in number of two groups constituting a whole
The proposition was opposed by a minority of voters.
: a number or percentage equaling less than half of a total
a one-third minority
… a minority of votes can translate into a majority of seats.Carlos Lozada
b
: the smaller quantity or share
Teams in possession of the ball for a majority of the time have been no more likely to win than those in possession for a minority of the time.Kevin Pullein
2
: the group or political party having the smaller number of votes
the Democratic/Republican minority in the Senate
often used before another noun
a U.S. Senate minority leader
3
a
: a part of a population thought of as differing from the rest of the population in some characteristics and often subjected to differential treatment
the country's ethnic minorities
minority communities
b
: a member of a minority group
"… Speaking as a minority, it's even more satisfying to see women have the chance to follow their dreams. …"Isiah Thomas, quoted in Newsweek
a minority student
a minority-owned business
often used in plural
Doctors are struggling to comply with new federal guidelines requiring them to include more minorities in clinical trials …Douglas Stanglin et al.
4
a
: the period before a person reaches the age of majority (see majority sense 2a)
b
: the state of being a legal minor

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Advertisement The allegations cast a further pall on a department accused of stopping minorities and using deadly force on young Black men under questionable circumstances. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2024 In Massachusetts, an environmental justice population is one where one or more of the following criteria are true: the annual median household income is 65 percent or less of the statewide annual median household income, and minorities make up 40 percent or more of the population. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 5 June 2024 At the same time, Mr. Modi has worked to turn a vastly diverse country held together by a secular democratic system into an overtly Hindu-first state, marginalizing the country’s large Muslim minority. Pragati K.b. Atul Loke, New York Times, 4 June 2024 What My Brother’s Keeper is doing in Charlotte The Charlotte chapter of My Brother’s Keeper is part of a national network founded in 2014 by former President Barack Obama in response to the lack of opportunities for minority youth. Myles Manor, Charlotte Observer, 3 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for minority 

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

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

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

Dictionary Entries Near minority

Cite this Entry

“Minority.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minority. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

minority

noun
mi·​nor·​i·​ty mə-ˈnȯr-ət-ē How to pronounce minority (audio)
mī-,
-ˈnär-
plural minorities
1
: the state or period of being a legal minor
2
: the smaller number
especially : a group having less than the number of votes necessary for control
3
: a part of a population that differs from other groups in some characteristics and is often given unfair treatment

Legal Definition

minority

noun
mi·​nor·​i·​ty
plural minorities
1
a
: 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
3
a
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on minority

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