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

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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 An arrest affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Colorado painted the picture of a man with extreme racist views against Jews and other minorities. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "Pueblo man charged with plotting to blow up synagogue waives preliminary hearing," 8 Nov. 2019 Today, the Roma people (often used as a blanket term that encompasses several groups) represent Europe’s largest ethnic minority. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "London Library Spotlights Nazi Persecution of the Roma and Sinti," 8 Nov. 2019 But Pure Ohio lost to a dispensary that was minority-owned. Laura Hancock, cleveland, "Judge strikes down racial quotas in Ohio medical marijuana dispensary case," 7 Nov. 2019 Things like three-strike rules, which are already used against minorities. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chanel Miller and Evan Rachel Wood Unearth the Aftermath of Sexual Assault," 6 Nov. 2019 The labor movement partnered with the civil rights movement, did so much in that era to advance minority populations. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Acting UAW President Gamble: Praying for charged ex-VP, but if guilty, should face justice," 6 Nov. 2019 But this slim minority may soon get a big chance to change its mind: The impeachment hearings are slated to be televised soon—before Thanksgiving!—and the vote on impeachment could come before Christmas. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “Lock Him Up!”," 3 Nov. 2019 Lee offers a sweeping record of xenophobia in the U.S., highlighting the different ways minority groups have been humiliated, discriminated against and even deported. Annabel Gutterman, Time, "Here Are the 11 New Books You Should Read in November," 1 Nov. 2019 Other residents, including the islands' minority English-speaking community, trace their roots to the survivors of shipwrecks that claimed vessels off these shores in the 18th and 19th centuries. Brady Dennis, Anchorage Daily News, "The sea ice used to protect them. Now their island is crumbling into the sea.," 1 Nov. 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

14 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce minority (audio)

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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