mi·​nus | \ˈmī-nəs \

Definition of minus 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : diminished by : less seven minus four is three

2 : deprived of : without minus his hat



Definition of minus (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a negative quantity

2 : a negative quality especially : drawback



Definition of minus (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : algebraically negative a minus quantity minus ten degrees

2 : having a negative quality

3 : relating to or being a particular one of the two mating types that are required for successful fertilization in sexual reproduction in some lower plants (such as a fungus)

4 : falling low in a specified range B minus

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Synonyms & Antonyms for minus

Synonyms: Preposition

absent, sans, wanting, without

Synonyms: Noun

debit, disadvantage, disbenefit, downside, drawback, handicap, incommodity, liability, negative, strike

Antonyms: Noun

advantage, asset, edge, plus

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Examples of minus in a Sentence


He left the restaurant minus his hat. a fruit that looks like a peach, minus the fuzz


She decided that the pluses of owning a home outweighed the minuses. Some employers see a lack of experience as a real minus. Put the minus to the left of the number.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Want the look of gels minus the damage — and dry time? Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Gel Nails: 12 Things You Need To Know About Gel Manicures," 17 July 2018 Here’s some other takeaways from Berkshire’s earnings release: Book value, a measure of assets minus liabilities, declined to $211,184 a share from $211,750 per Class A share at the end of 2017. Fortune, "Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Just Posted Its First Loss in 9 Years. Here's Why," 5 May 2018 Meanwhile, the tax gap — the annual amount owed minus the amount collected — runs about $450 billion a year. Joe Davidson, Washington Post, "IRS, punished under Obama by GOP, still feels the sting," 26 Mar. 2018 His net approval rating — those who approve minus those who don’t — has risen from minus-21 to minus-13. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "That upcoming Democratic rout? Suddenly, it's looking far less certain.," 1 Feb. 2018 The Rangers are on the hook for all of Jackson's contract, minus the prorated league minimum that a team that claims him would have to pay this season. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Unable to find trade, Rangers part ways with Denton native Jackson," 11 July 2018 Shutterstock Today, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are celebrating their nephew Prince Louis' christening with the immediate royals (minus the Queen and Prince Philip). Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "See Photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Prince Louis' Christening," 9 July 2018 City Manager Vicky Rudy led the meeting Wednesday, June 27 at City Hall and told the mayor and city council members, minus Frances Planchard, that city’s capital improvement finances could eventually stagnate by 2020. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Coffer running dry in Oak Ridge North; city looks toward future," 30 June 2018 Across Georgia in 2017, net migration accounted for a larger share — 58 percent — of the population growth than did natural increase (the total number of births minus deaths statewide). Jill Vejnoska, ajc, "Why Georgia keeps growing, despite decline in births," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Despite not putting up gaudy numbers, Hill has been one of the Cavaliers' most effective players, ranking third on the team in plus-minus. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "Tyronn Lue 'optimistic' George Hill will play in Game 7 but still taking wait-and-see approach," 28 Apr. 2018 The new bonds received a private credit rating of single-B-minus from S&P Global Ratings and B3 from Moody’s Investors Service Inc., which were only made available to investors who signed confidentiality agreements, the analyst said. Matt Wirz, WSJ, "Uber Borrows $2 Billion in Debut Bond Sale," 18 Oct. 2018 Los Canaleros lost their final Group G match 2-1 to Tunisia on Thursday, leaving them without a point and with the tournament's worst goal difference of minus nine. SI.com, "'You Should Respect Our Team': Panama Manager Launches Into Fiery Rant After WC Loss to Tunisia," 29 June 2018 Defensively, in the first three periods, was a C-minus. Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "Sixers beat Heat in Game 4 behind Ben Simmons triple-double, Joel Embiid's rim protection," 21 Apr. 2018 Russo only played 19 games with the Red Wings – all during the 2016-17 season – and had a plus-minus rating of plus-2. George Stoia, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings trade Robbie Russo to Arizona for 2019 draft pick," 25 June 2018 By the end of the summer, weights will also be available online and in racing programs with a plus-minus from the previous start, according to The Jockey Club. baltimoresun.com, "Digest (July 5): Stronach Group plans to display weights of horses for handicapping," 5 July 2018 As an example, ESPN's annual NFL offseason grades, out this week, gave Miami a C-minus, ranking 30th of 32 teams. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "On a philosophical search to find the Miami Dolphins' grand plan, or see if there is one," 7 June 2018 McConnell, who started Game 5, too, also had the best plus/minus of any player in that series at plus-41, slightly ahead of Boston’s Al Horford (plus-40). Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "Sixers pick up options for T.J. McConnell, Richaun Holmes," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Portugal fares the worst, with liabilities of 395% of GDP, and assets of 260%, leaving the nation with a net worth of minus 135% of GDP. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "Government Debts Not as Daunting When Assets Are Mixed In," 9 Oct. 2018 But in Europe, the opposite has happened: The total return on the Euro Stoxx is minus 1.2%, while German bunds have returned 1.5%. Richard Barley, WSJ, "The Trans-Atlantic Catch-Up Trade Has Gone Awry," 29 June 2018 Moscow, the nation’s biggest gas consumer, faced its coldest night this winter on Tuesday with the mercury dropping to almost minus 22 degrees in the center and to minus 30 in the suburbs. Anna Shiryaevskaya, Bloomberg.com, "London Covered in Snow as Cold Snap Makes Energy Markets Shiver," 28 Feb. 2018 On April 29th the Treasury in Rome managed to place 5.5bn of six-month bills, but at a rate of 1.213%—up from minus 0.421% at the last comparable auction on May 26th. The Economist, "Italy’s bond yields rise as it heads for another election," 29 May 2018 Getting frostbite in temperatures of minus 30 degrees celsius, Elham says mental resilience is what nudged her through. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Throwing your skin into the wind: Houston tattoo shop plays with fate and a tattoo dartboard," 3 July 2018 In the eurozone, rates have stayed pegged at negative levels—now at minus 0.4%—since 2014. Josh Mitchell, WSJ, "Economic Growth in U.S. Leaves World Behind," 14 June 2018 The winter of 1876 was severe, with fierce wind and temperatures dipping to minus 30. Porter Fox, Outside Online, "Exploring America's Forgotten Border," 1 June 2018 Sometimes those individual plus/minus numbers can deceive. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "Jose Calderon Effect: How the veteran is bringing out the best in Kevin Love, LeBron James and Cavaliers' offense," 4 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minus.' 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 minus


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1708, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for minus


Middle English, from Latin minus, adverb, less, from neuter of minor smaller — more at minor

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Learn More about minus

Dictionary Entries near minus







minus latium

Statistics for minus

Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for minus

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

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More Definitions for minus



English Language Learners Definition of minus

 (Entry 1 of 3)

—used to indicate that one number or amount is being subtracted from another

: not having (something)



English Language Learners Definition of minus (Entry 2 of 3)

: a problem or disadvantage



English Language Learners Definition of minus (Entry 3 of 3)

: having a value that is below zero


mi·​nus | \ˈmī-nəs \

Kids Definition of minus

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : with the subtraction of : less 7 minus 4 is 3.

2 : without entry 1 sense 2 I went outside minus my hat.



Kids Definition of minus (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having a value that is below zero The temperature was minus 15.

2 : located in the lower part of a range a grade of C minus


mi·​nus | \ˈmī-nəs \

Medical Definition of minus 

: relating to or being one of the two mating types required for successful fertilization in sexual reproduction in some lower plants (as a fungus) — compare plus

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More from Merriam-Webster on minus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with minus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for minus

Spanish Central: Translation of minus

Nglish: Translation of minus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of minus for Arabic Speakers

Comments on minus

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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