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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

My daughter, minus her yellow bucket, is permitted inside just before the lifeguard cuts the line off. Vesna Jaksic Lowe, Washington Post, "Waivers, rules, regulations: What it’s like parenting between two cultural extremes," 12 Aug. 2019 That is almost exactly what happened, minus the premeditated intent to steal the hot rod. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Netflix’s Trinkets Recap," 15 June 2019 Competition for places in midfield is likely to be beyond fierce even minus the duo, however. SI.com, "Danny Drinkwater & Tiemoue Bakayoko Set for Chelsea Exits as Frank Lampard Plans Cull," 28 July 2019 Its extreme distance from the sun makes Saturn a pretty chilly place: the average temperature is about minus 288 degrees Fahrenheit. Dan Falk, NBC News, "Facts about Saturn's rings, moons and more," 22 July 2019 To this date, Fosse is still the only person ever to win the EOT (EGOT minus the Grammy, obv) in a single year. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Was Bob Fosse? 6 Things to Know Before Watching Fosse/Verdon," 10 Apr. 2019 After three days of talks the EU’s leaders (minus Theresa May of Brexiting Britain) agreed to nominate Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s defence minister, to the presidency of the European Commission, the EU’s executive. The Economist, "EU leaders’ arduous deal on top jobs may yet fall apart," 4 July 2019 However, their attempt to approve the project minus the $300,000 was voted down by a 3-2 margin with McNamara and Councilwomen Olga Diaz and Consuelo Martinez opting to approve the project as it had been negotiated by the city’s planning department. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Five-story apartment complex approved for downtown Escondido," 20 June 2019 To feel blessed minus the hashtag is a blessed feeling indeed. Juno Demelo, SELF, "I Vacationed in One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth and Didn't 'Gram a Single Thing," 21 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Even minus perhaps the most important punch in boxing, Arredondo keeps winning. John Whisler, ExpressNews.com, "Minus jab, Arredondo relies on power to knock out foe," 4 Aug. 2019 The decision to dump the paper ducats, said Glen Thornborough, the chief revenue officer on Causeway Street, came after some three years of weighing the pluses and minuses of the digital ticket age. Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, "Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo next on Bruins’ list," 13 July 2019 Along with Alfonzo McKinnie, Bogut was the only Warrior who played at least 10 minutes without a negative plus-minus. Matt Schneidman, The Mercury News, "Unpredictability of Warriors’ centers might be cause for concern," 5 June 2019 However, his ability to evolve into a C-minus or even D-plus hitter — a dog that would hunt — is still an open question. Tom Krasovic, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Even with low expectations, Padres are disappointing, underachieving," 23 Apr. 2018 But pilots are mostly a thing of the past, particularly on streaming services, and that has its pluses and minuses. Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Another Life': TV Review," 22 July 2019 Curry can match numbers with anyone, and the stat people point to his worth in PER, net ratings, volume scoring, win shares and real plus-minus. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "Another MVP? Curry deserves consideration," 8 Jan. 2018 That’s instructive: though every Google tablet had some hardware pluses to go along with the minuses, every single one of them had software that didn’t work well on a big tablet screen. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Google was never really serious about tablets," 21 June 2019 The Bank of Japan’s policy interest rate has been at minus 0.1% for years, to keep credit cheap and support a modest pace of expansion. Washington Post, "Trade war clouds outlook as finance chiefs meet in Japan," 8 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

With no stars nearby, Voyager 2 recently reported temperatures of minus 74 degrees Fahrenheit. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "How NASA Is Trying to Keep the Voyager 2 Satellite Alive," 15 July 2019 This is remarkable considering that the instrument was initially tested at only minus 49 degrees Fahrenheit. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "NASA's plan to keep the Voyager spacecraft awake and flying," 10 July 2019 In accordance with EFL Regulations, the sporting sanction will take effect immediately and the Club will start the League One season on minus 12 points. SI.com, "EFL Confirm Bury Will Start 2019/20 Season With 12-Point Deduction Following Insolvency," 18 July 2019 Bunker Hill, Memorial Drive and Valley Oaks all received A-minus grades. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "Spring Branch ISD schools get mixed marks from Children At Risk," 1 July 2019 Tamimi pled guilty to assault and incitement, and Lieberman sentenced her to eight months in prison, minus time served. Batya Ungar-sargon, The New York Review of Books, "A Palestinian in Israeli Military Court: Issa Amro, the Judge, & Me," 17 June 2019 The icy blast prompted governors to declare states of emergency in Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois as windchill temperatures fell to minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit across much of the Chicago area and near minus 70 across parts of the upper Midwest. Douglas Belkin, WSJ, "Temperatures Plunge to Lowest Levels in Decades as Polar Vortex Hits Midwest," 30 Jan. 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about minus

Dictionary Entries near minus







minus latium

Statistics for minus

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for minus

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!