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

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

America, however, is plagued by the only democratic vice more troubling than the tyranny of the majority: tyranny of the minority. The Economist, "American democracy’s built-in bias towards rural Republicans," 12 July 2018 But that was in the days when Republicans and Democrats actually worked together and when the minority party actually played a role in Washington in crafting legislation, determining policy and approving appointees. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "Eat at home, McConnell, until you're ready to listen to all the people," 10 July 2018 When the toxic gas of populist exclusion is diffused through society, the minority is the first to succumb to it. Amro Ali, Time, "Denmark’s “Ghetto” Policies Are an Ominous Sign That Liberal Europe Is Starting to Unravel at the Seams," 3 July 2018 Though horror stories are ubiquitous online, women with negative experiences are the minority. Kayla Webley Adler, Marie Claire, "The IUD Vs. The World," 28 June 2018 Years & Years, Palo Santo Fronted by actor-singer Olly Alexander (of Skins fame), this U.K. band’s new album envisions a world where the minority is always the majority. Seija Rankin, EW.com, "The year in LGBTQ projects you need to know about," 13 June 2018 The department has been dogged by lawsuits and complaints alleging discrimination against women and minorities for years. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, "Fairfax County hires new fire chief amid department turmoil," 11 July 2018 The more the progressive left focuses on the politics of minority groups, the more the Trumpified right will focus on the politics of national identity. The Economist, "The special relationship once enriched Britain’s politics. No longer," 5 July 2018 Schools say the decision to begin accepting the GRE is also part of an effort to attract students applying to a range of master’s programs, and increase representation of women and underrepresented minorities. Janaki Chadha, WSJ, "M.B.A. Programs Try Catering to Liberal-Arts Types—With Math Camp," 4 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of minority

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about minority

Phrases Related to minority

ethnic minorities

in the minority

Statistics for minority

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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 \
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

a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!