mi·​nus | \ ˈmī-nəs How to pronounce minus (audio) \

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

The loin and the rings are coated in a batter with a smooth funnel cake-like taste and texture, minus the powdered sugar. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "Batter up: Here are 18 KC-area places to get perfect, golden-fried onion rings," 21 June 2018 Research shows that optimal amounts of this and other carotenoids helps protect the skin from sun damage while another study found that eating carotenoid-rich foods gives your skin a healthy-looking glow, minus the skin-wrecking tan. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "10 seriously filling salads you'll want to eat all summer," 6 June 2017 The Apple Watch Nike+ Series 4 comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes, and it can be bought as a package with any of the aforementioned bands, minus the black and neon yellow ones. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "New Apple Watch Nike+ Series 4 has launched with limited quantity in stores," 5 Oct. 2018 Little by little, over the five seasons of our show, through struggle and plenty of wrong — read: hilarious! — moves, Abby has found the right path for her, minus the expectations. Ilana Kaplan, New York Times, "Lisa Edelstein Says Goodbye to Her ‘Girlfriends’," 8 June 2018 Every few months, run a cycle minus detergent using a dishwasher cleaner, like Cascade, Affresh, or Glisten. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping, "8 Annoying Dishwasher Problems — Solved!," 28 Jan. 2015 At 10 in the morning, the teeming fluorescent atmosphere brought to mind an OTB, minus the gentility. Mark Rozzo, Town & Country, "Hong Kong Foodie," 1 Nov. 2012 Two days before the storm struck the Lower Keys, nearly every corner of the state, minus the Panhandle, fell under the cone. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "Hurricane forecasts for your block. There's a website for that now," 22 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The company’s book value per share rose 0.4% in 2018, the company said, compared with a minus 4.4% total return in the S&P 500, including dividends. Nicole Friedman, WSJ, "Warren Buffett’s Kraft Heinz Bet Dragged Down Berkshire Hathaway in 2018," 23 Feb. 2019 All five Warriors starters had a plus-minus rating of at least minus-20, with Durant the worst at minus-28. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "Rockets rout Warriors in Game 2 with a small-ball death lineup of their own," 17 May 2018 The biggest bench boost came from Maurice Harkless, who scored 11 points and didn’t miss a shot while also grabbing five rebounds with a block and team-high plus-minus of 10 in 27 minutes. Andrew Greif, OregonLive.com, "Blazers lose 8th consecutive playoff game: 7 takeaways from Portland's Game 2 loss to New Orleans," 18 Apr. 2018 Compared to the General Dynamics Griffin Tech Demonstrator, the M8 has some pluses and minuses. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Here's BAE Systems' Proposal for a New Light Army Tank," 19 Oct. 2016 In rural North Dakota, temperatures hit minus 22 F with a minus-50-degree wind chill. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "What Is a Polar Vortex? The Frigid Weather Pattern Explained," 16 Jan. 2019 By the time those conversations finished, six or seven different scenarios had been explored, each with pluses and minuses. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "Playoff Play Calls Gone Wrong: If Coaches Could Do It Differently," 17 Jan. 2018 What’s more, Cleveland has been outscored by 13 points in his 197 minutes on the court, giving him a negative plus-minus for the first time in his playoff career. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "LeBron James: Kevin Love ‘Has to Step Up’ for Cavs to Avoid First-Round Exit," 28 Apr. 2018 Typical low temperatures in January range between minus 5 and minus 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Grace Donnelly, Fortune, "What It's Like Living in the Coldest Places on Earth," 17 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In Iowa, the coldest temperatures in over two decades are expected to create wind chills of between minus 35 degrees and minus 55 degrees Tuesday night through Thursday morning. Kris Maher, WSJ, "Midwest Prepares for Subzero Polar Vortex," 28 Jan. 2019 Wind chills could drop to minus 30 degrees in the mountains of New Hampshire and Maine Monday evening, said meteorologist Michael Cempa with the National Weather Service’s office in Gray, Maine. Scott Calvert, WSJ, "Arctic Blast From Canada to Bring Cold Snap Across Northeast," 20 Jan. 2019 Capacity utilization was minus 16, down from 9 last month. Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "Richmond Fed’s Manufacturing Index Weakened in December," 26 Dec. 2018 The base was abruptly cleared, however, and the plane glided to safety with all 61 passengers unscathed, minus two minor injuries and damage sustained to the aircraft's nose. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "8 Emergency Landings That Rival the 'Miracle on the Hudson'," 15 Jan. 2019 The Hydrometeorological Service said temperatures plunged as low as minus 24 degrees Celsius (minus 11 Fahrenheit) in the central Lithuanian town of Ukmerge both Sunday and Monday. Bloomberg.com, "The Latest: Swedish Prime Minister Uninjured After Car Skids," 26 Feb. 2018 The Bank of Japan this week widened its preferred trading band, allowing the 10-year to trade with a yield of between minus 0.2% and 0.2%. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Trade and Treasurys Rattle Asian Stocks," 2 Aug. 2018 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

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

4 Feb 2019

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
informal : not having (something)



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

informal : 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 How to pronounce minus (audio) \

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 How to pronounce minus (audio) \

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

What made you want to look up minus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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