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 More than half of the students in American public schools are minorities, but the teaching force is still 80% white, according to statistics from the U.S. Education Department. Michael Melia, courant.com, "In Connecticut and across the country, minority students generally taught by white educators," 25 Nov. 2019 Francis traveled Saturday from Thailand to another Asian country where Catholics are a minority – less than 0.5% of Japan’s 127 million people, most of them loosely affiliated with Buddhism or Shinto, or both. USA TODAY, "Pope Francis to push for nuclear disarmament during Japan visit," 24 Nov. 2019 Francis travels Saturday from Thailand to another Asian country where Catholics are a minority — less than 0.5% of Japan’s 127 million people, most of them loosely affiliated with Buddhism or Shinto, or both. Washington Post, "Francis fulfills dream, goes to Japan as missionary pope," 23 Nov. 2019 Tellingly, the only district where Tamils are a minority that Mr Rajapaksa failed to carry was Ampara, where Muslims are the biggest group. The Economist, "Sri Lanka’s new president has a worrying past," 21 Nov. 2019 Unfortunately, there's still a sizeable minority who do, including the following three women. Barbara Brody, Health.com, "These 3 Women Were Each Diagnosed With Advanced Lung Cancer—Even Though They Never Smoked," 19 Nov. 2019 Black Bostonians, a quarter of the city’s population today, were a small minority when the Trotters arrived. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, "The Legacy of a Radical Black Newspaperman," 18 Nov. 2019 The second largest group was from pork-loving China, where Muslims are a minority. BostonGlobe.com, "Indonesia wants ‘halal tourism.’ But some want to wrestle pigs. - The Boston Globe," 10 Nov. 2019 Airbnb and local advocates argued that the restrictions would have the effect of eliminating 90% of the city's properties from the market and would disproportionately affect renters, most of whom are minorities. CBS News, "Airbnb loses ballot battle to avoid regulations in Jersey City," 6 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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Time Traveler for minority

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for minority

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Minority.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minority?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=m&file=minori02. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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