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

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 Before analysis of satellite data, the coldest temperature measured on Earth had been minus 89 Celsius, recorded on the East Antarctic Plateau at Russia’s Vostok Station in July 1983. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "The planet’s most frigid region is even colder than scientists thought," 26 June 2018 Wagner broke into the Germany squad when a young side minus their World Cup-winning stars lifted the Confederations Cup last July. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Wagner: World Cup chances 'much better' after Bayern move," 24 Jan. 2018 The entire Game of Thrones cast, past and present (minus a few regrettably absent faves) assembled in New York City this evening for the show's eighth and final premiere. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Emilia Clarke Is Dressed Like A True Queen On The Game of Thrones Red Carpet," 3 Apr. 2019 Temperatures plunged as low as minus 26 in North Dakota with wind chills as low as minus 62 in Minnesota. Blake Nicholson, The Seattle Times, "Midwest cities scramble to keep homeless from dangerous cold," 30 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

High schools Of 43 high schools ranked in Houston ISD, 12 received at least an A-minus grade. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "Houston ISD schools in West U, Bellaire and the Heights earn top marks," 1 July 2019 No South Carolina player finished with a positive plus-minus rating. Joedy Mccreary, The Seattle Times, "Baylor beats South Carolina 93-68, returns to Elite 8," 30 Mar. 2019 But while average yields on five-year bonds with an AAA rating have fallen to 3.80% from 5.44% a year earlier, yields on equivalent debt with an AA-minus rating have only dropped to 6.87% from 6.95%. Shen Hong, WSJ, "Default Fears Add Fresh Stress to Chinese Private Sector," 11 Jan. 2019 At the other end of the spectrum, one very prominent online-polling outfit, Survey Monkey, gets a D-minus rating. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Polling Is Still Working, According to Nate Silver," 30 May 2018 Yields on 10-year German government bonds fell to a fresh all-time low of minus 0.315% as investors digested the prospect of new bond purchases by the ECB. Tom Fairless, WSJ, "ECB Signals Possible Rate Cut Prompting Trump Tweets," 18 June 2019 Temperatures of minus 89 degrees Fahrenheit have been recorded there. David Holahan, USA TODAY, "'The Ice at the End of the World' review: Scary clues of climate change in Greenland," 11 June 2019 The rookie finished with just two points on 1-of-7 shooting and a team-worst -28 plus/minus. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "WNBA: Size of Phoenix Mercury proves too much for Indiana Fever," 9 June 2019 Richard has become my Warren Beatty-worth his weight in gold-minus the tight pants and philandering. Longreads, "True Roots," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 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

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

22 Jul 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).


to complain fretfully

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