minority

noun, often attributive mi·nor·i·ty \ mə-ˈnȯr-ə-tē , mī- , -ˈnär- \
Updated on: 7 Dec 2017

Definition of minority

plural minorities
1 a : the period before attainment of majority (see majority 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.
3 a : 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

Examples of minority in a Sentence

  1. The proposal is opposed by a minority of voters.

  2. The Republicans are now the minority in the Senate.

  3. The group is becoming an influential minority in the community.

Recent Examples of minority from the Web

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.

First Known Use of minority

15th century



MINORITY Defined for English Language Learners

minority

noun

Definition of minority for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

minority

noun mi·nor·i·ty \ mə-ˈnȯr-ə-tē \

Definition of minority for Students

plural minorities
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

Law Dictionary

minority

noun mi·nor·i·ty

legal Definition of minority

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 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


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