From Middle French minorité, and its source Late Latin minōritās, from Latin minor.

Morphologically minor +‎ -ity



minority (countable and uncountable, plural minorities)

  1. The state of being a minor; youth, the period of a person's life prior to reaching adulthood. [from 15th c.]
    • 2011, Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms, Penguin 2012, p. 117:
      She also played a key role as dowager-regent during the minority of her son.
    Synonym: childhood
    Antonym: adulthood
  2. Any subgroup that does not form a numerical majority. [from 18th c.]
    Most people agreed, but a sizable minority were upset by the decision.
    • 2017 August 25, "Arrest threat as Yingluck Shinawatra misses verdict", in aljazeera.com, Al Jazeera
      The case is the latest chapter in a decade-long struggle by the nation's elite minority to crush the powerful political machine founded by Yingluck's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled in another coup in 2006.
    Antonym: majority
  3. (US) A member of an ethnic minority. [from 20th c.]
    The company claims it has hired several minorities since the complaint was lodged.
  4. (sociology) A group of people seen as distinct who are subordinated and discriminated against in a society.
    • 1951 October, Helen Mayer Hacker, “Women as Minority Group”, in Howard W. Odum; Katherine Jocher, editors, Social Forces, volume 30, number 1, Williams & Wilkins, DOI:10.2307/2571742, page 63:
      But we have seen that one important difference between women and other minorities is that women's attitudes and self-conceptions are conditioned more largely by interaction with both minority and dominant group members

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


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minority (comparative more minority, superlative most minority)

  1. (relational, attributive) Of or relating to a minority.
    They hold a minority interest in the company.
  2. (attributive, politics, of a party, government, etc.) Empowered by or representing a minority (usually a plurality) of votes cast, legislative seats, etc., rather than an outright majority thereof.
    minority government


See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • minority at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • minority”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary