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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for plus or minus

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of plus or minus in a Sentence

Adverb I have plus or minus five dollars in change.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. Jennifer Agiesta, CNN, "CNN Poll: Americans are divided on what causes problems in US elections," 30 Apr. 2021 The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence, according to the Wason Center. Washington Post, "CNU poll finds McAuliffe with significant lead in race for Democratic nomination for governor," 22 Apr. 2021 The poll surveyed 1,000 likely U.S. voters between April 5 and 6, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "Democrat-controlled Congress unpopular with overwhelming majority of voters: Poll," 18 Apr. 2021 Sacred Heart’s poll, which surveyed 1,000 state residents online and by phone from March 23-31 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, found Lamont continues to get high marks for his handling of the coronavirus crisis. Russell Blair,, "Poll: 31% of Connecticut residents report mental health decline during COVID-19," 14 Apr. 2021 The margin of error was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. Anne Tergesen, WSJ, "Americans Are More Optimistic About Their Retirement Savings," 22 Apr. 2021 The survey's margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford ranks with Apple, Amazon, Pfizer in new consumer trust survey," 20 Apr. 2021 The margin of error was plus or minus 5.4 percentage points. Leada Gore |, al, "Alabama finishes next-to-last in list of worst US places and, no, Mississippi wasn’t last," 14 Apr. 2021 The poll's margin of sampling error was plus or minus 2 percentage points. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, "Gallup poll shows largest increase in Democratic Party affiliation in a decade," 7 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of plus or minus


1926, in the meaning defined above


1849, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plus or minus

Time Traveler for plus or minus

Time Traveler

The first known use of plus or minus was in 1849

See more words from the same year

Statistics for plus or minus

Cite this Entry

“Plus or minus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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