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 Democratic portion of the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points. Laura Litvan,, "Biden’s lead shrinks as Harris, Warren rise in post-debate poll," 2 July 2019 That poll surveyed 554 respondents and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points. Matt Stevens, New York Times, "Kamala Harris Surges in 3 Polls After Strong Debate Performance," 2 July 2019 The May decrease came with a margin of error of plus or minus 14.7 percentage points. Likhitha Butchireddygari, WSJ, "U.S. New-Home Sales Fell for Second Straight Month in May," 25 June 2019 The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, but the margin of error would be higher for subgroups, such as Cuban-Americans and non-Cubans because the sample sizes are smaller. Anthony Man,, "Hipanics in Florida divided on Trump; Vice President Mike Pence in town to launch Latino coalition.," 25 June 2019 The full sample had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Joshua Jamerson, WSJ, "Nearly Half of Democrats Back Impeachment Hearings Against Trump," 16 June 2019 Results from the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Robert Mccartney, Washington Post, "Poll: D.C. area thinks Amazon headquarters will have good impact overall, despite concerns.," 14 June 2019 The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent. Brittany Wallman,, "Public schools get failing grades in new survey by Fort Lauderdale residents," 8 June 2019 The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, meaning there is a 95 percent chance that the true responses of the entire population would fall within 3.4 percentage points of the poll’s responses. Jonathan Lai,, "N.J. Adults Who Are More Civically Engaged: Why?," 4 June 2019

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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