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

adolescence, nonage

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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

The 5-4 directive, issued just before 3 a.m. Friday, overruled lower-court decisions and prompted a frustrated dissent from the liberal minority, which had asked for a chance to discuss the case at the court’s regular private meeting on Friday. ... Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Denies Reprieve to Alabama Death-Row Inmate," 12 Apr. 2019 Or for instance with Bethany Williams, who is committed to aiding minorities through her involvement in fashion. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Introducing the 2019 LVMH Prize Finalists," 27 Mar. 2019 That appeared unlikely after the small but influential Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland, which props up May’s minority government, refused to water down its opposition to the withdrawal agreement. Danica Kirka, The Seattle Times, "UK government defiant as Parliament takes control of Brexit," 27 Mar. 2019 Every person needs to take on the responsibility to learn about, and publicly show true empathy for, different cultures and minorities. Georgia Fowler, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Fight Islamophobia," 23 Mar. 2019 These women defied the one-dimensional tropes often allotted to minorities thanks to filmmaking worthy of their talent. Kyndall Cunningham, Glamour, "The Oscar Race Is All About Gaga vs. Glenn—But What About Women of Color?," 22 Jan. 2019 Holmes said, also noting Hollywood used blackface or other types of offensive makeup to cast white actors to play ethnic minorities. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "Here's Everything You Need to Know About Megyn Kelly’s NBC Exit," 26 Oct. 2018 On the other hand, only 5.3 percent of psychologists were black/African-American, while racial/ethnic minority groups overall were 16.4 percent of the active workforce. Vanessa Willhoughby, Allure, "The Reality of Navigating the Mental Health System as a Black Woman," 13 Oct. 2018 Racial minorities, those with less education and people working in the lowest-paying... Lauren Weber, WSJ, "Inside the Hottest Job Market in Half a Century," 1 Mar. 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

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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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