mi·​nor | \ ˈmī-nər How to pronounce minor (audio) \

Definition of minor

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : inferior in importance, size, or degree : comparatively unimportant a minor artist
2 : not having reached majority (see majority sense 2) He is the father of minor children.
3a : having half steps between the second and third, the fifth and sixth, and sometimes the seventh and eighth degrees minor scale
b : based on a minor scale minor key
c : less by a semitone than the corresponding major interval minor third
d : having a minor third above the root minor triad
4 : not serious or involving risk to life minor illness
5 : of or relating to an academic subject requiring fewer courses than a major his minor subjects for his M.A. were plant ecology and entomologyCurrent Biography



Definition of minor (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a person who is not yet old enough to have the rights of an adult
2 : a minor musical interval, scale, key, or mode
3a : a minor academic subject
b : a student taking a specified minor
4 : a determinant or matrix obtained from a given determinant or matrix by eliminating the row and column in which a given element lies
5 minors plural : minor league baseball used with the


minored; minoring; minors

Definition of minor (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to take courses in a minor subject

Synonyms & Antonyms for minor

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of minor in a Sentence

Adjective Her role in the project was minor. I'm not worried about minor details. The grant covered only a minor part of the cost. The delay will be minor. He suffered a minor heart attack. Noun families with children who are still minors The nightclub was shut down for selling alcohol to a minor. She majored in chemistry with a minor in biology. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective An angiogram indicated a minor stroke in the form of a small venous tear at the back of his head, Van Hollen said. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 17 May 2022 Black adults are five times more likely to be pulled over for minor traffic violations than white adults. Baltimore Sun, 17 May 2022 Aside from minor issues like that, this is a first-gen U15 Bronco that appears to be in tremendous shape. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 17 May 2022 But a New York Times investigation showed that two-thirds of deportees during this period had only minor infractions or no criminal record at all. San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 May 2022 According to Juvenile Assessment Center data used in the task force’s report, young people living in Pine Hills followed by areas of Parramore, Oak Ridge and Orlo Vista make up a majority of youth arrests, mostly for minor offenses. Cristóbal Reyes, Orlando Sentinel, 16 May 2022 Rescuers determined Chaloux could hike with minor assistance and did not need a rescue litter, Fish and Game said. Matt Yan, BostonGlobe.com, 16 May 2022 The talking heads from the opinion shows played a minor role, save ascendant Greg Gutfeld. Mikey O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 May 2022 Some players have become minor celebrities while having day jobs. James Hookway, WSJ, 16 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Graham has a prior conviction for involvement with a minor in prostitution. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 25 Apr. 2022 Plumb also had a prior state conviction for indecency with a minor. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 21 Apr. 2022 Coleman was also found not guilty in a lesser charge of unlawful transaction with a minor. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Apr. 2022 Rahmani said that the amusement park has a responsibility to keep their rides safe, and added that this case deals with a minor. Adam Sabes, Fox News, 26 Mar. 2022 The statute of limitations may be tolled in some cases, such as where the claimant is a minor. Steve Dimopoulos, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Eppinger has a lengthy criminal history dating to a series of felonies in 2016, for which he was convicted as a minor. Chelsea Prince, ajc, 20 Apr. 2022 The teenager has not been identified due to his status as a minor. Glenn Garner, PEOPLE.com, 17 Mar. 2022 Judge Schroeder on Monday dismissed a misdemeanor weapons charge Rittenhouse faced as a minor in possession of a firearm. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, 17 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tens of thousands of times a year, hospitals charge enormously expensive trauma alert fees for injuries so minor the patient is never admitted. Jay Hancock, CNN, 16 July 2021 In a news release, the school said students in the fall will be able to pursue a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree in public health and may also minor in public health. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 16 Mar. 2021 The weather map on Monday shows somewhat active weather across the Great Lakes and into the Northeast, where areas of rain will mix will minor snow accumulations. Todd Nelson, Star Tribune, 28 Feb. 2021 Gardner, who is a strong catcher, plans to study business administration and hopes to minor in digital marketing. Randy Mcroberts, baltimoresun.com, 7 Dec. 2020 Undergraduates now have two ways to pursue ethnic studies: Students majoring in history and literature can focus on the subject, and students can minor in ethnicity, migration, rights. Kate Taylor, New York Times, 2 Jan. 2020 Jake hasn’t decided on a future career, but may minor in music in college. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, 17 Feb. 2020 Volunteer doctors and nurses, some of them migrants themselves, tend to minor illnesses and injuries from a rudimentary open-air clinic operated by Global Response Management, a small aid group. ExpressNews.com, 17 Nov. 2019 Zeigler, who minored in journalism at the University Alabama in the 1970s, administered the Facebook page. al, 1 Sep. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of minor


1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for minor

Adjective and Noun

Latin, smaller, inferior; akin to Old High German minniro smaller, Latin minuere to lessen

Learn More About minor

Dictionary Entries Near minor

mino bird



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Statistics for minor

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Minor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minor. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for minor


mi·​nor | \ ˈmī-nər How to pronounce minor (audio) \

Kids Definition of minor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not great in size, importance, or seriousness minor details a minor injury
2 : of or relating to a musical scale having the third tone lowered a half step



Kids Definition of minor (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person too young to have the full rights of an adult


mi·​nor | \ ˈmī-nər How to pronounce minor (audio) \

Medical Definition of minor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not serious or involving risk to life minor illness a minor operation — compare major



Medical Definition of minor (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person of either sex under the age of legal qualification for adult rights and responsibilities that has traditionally been 21 in the United States but is now 18 in many states or sometimes less under certain circumstances (as marriage or pregnancy)



Legal Definition of minor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has not yet reached the age of majority — compare adult, juvenile, major



Legal Definition of minor (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : being less important or serious a minor official a minor offense
b : involving, relating to, or dealing with less important matters
2 : having the status of a minor minor children

More from Merriam-Webster on minor

Nglish: Translation of minor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of minor for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about minor


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