plus or minus


Definition of plus or minus

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: indicating a quantity whose algebraically positive and negative values serve to bracket a range of values either alone or when added to and subtracted from a given number measured with an accuracy of plus or minus 3 feet

plus or minus


Definition of plus or minus (Entry 2 of 2)

: more or less, approximately a dance for singles plus or minus age 30

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Synonyms & Antonyms for plus or minus

Synonyms: Adverb

about, approximately, around, like, more or less, much, near, roughly, say, some

Antonyms: Adverb

exactly, precisely

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Examples of plus or minus in a Sentence


I have plus or minus five dollars in change.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The poll gave a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points. Jari Tanner, The Seattle Times, "Finns to vote on how best to save their welfare state," 12 Apr. 2019 The Monmouth University poll surveyed 604 New Jersey adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, "Sen. Booker’s Presidential Run Leaves New Jersey Lukewarm, Poll Says," 14 Feb. 2019 The margin of error for the full sample was plus or minus 3.27 percentage points. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "Americans Show Growing Support for Climate-Change Policies, Poll Says," 17 Dec. 2018 The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. Lauran Neergaard, The Seattle Times, "AP-NORC Poll: Many caregivers neglecting their own health," 15 Oct. 2018 The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. Pamela Wood,, "Sun/UB Poll: Brochin, McDonough have leads in Baltimore County executive primaries," 12 June 2018 The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, "Newsom, John Cox top new California governor’s poll: Villaraigosa in trouble," 31 May 2018 The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Angela Hart, sacbee, "Republicans surge past Villaraigosa in California governor's race, poll says," 10 May 2018 The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Jessie Balmert, USA TODAY, "Ohio primary: The wacky, bitter battle to replace Gov. John Kasich," 6 May 2018

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


1926, in the meaning defined above


1849, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for plus or minus

The first known use of plus or minus was in 1849

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plus or minus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plus or minus

Comments on plus or minus

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


a strong desire or propensity

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