What does minor mean?

Definitions for minor
ˈmaɪ nərmi·nor

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word minor.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. child, kid, youngster, minor, shaver, nipper, small fry, tiddler, tike, tyke, fry, nestlingadjective

    a young person of either sex

    "she writes books for children"; "they're just kids"; "`tiddler' is a British term for youngster"

  2. minoradjective

    of lesser importance or stature or rank

    "a minor poet"; "had a minor part in the play"; "a minor official"; "many of these hardy adventurers were minor noblemen"; "minor back roads"

  3. minoradjective

    lesser in scope or effect

    "had minor differences"; "a minor disturbance"

  4. minoradjective

    inferior in number or size or amount

    "a minor share of the profits"; "Ursa Minor"

  5. minoradjective

    of a scale or mode

    "the minor keys"; "in B flat minor"

  6. minor, nonaged, underageadjective

    not of legal age

    "minor children"

  7. minoradjective

    of lesser seriousness or danger

    "suffered only minor injuries"; "some minor flooding"; "a minor tropical disturbance"

  8. minoradjective

    of your secondary field of academic concentration or specialization

  9. minor(ip)adjective

    of the younger of two boys with the same family name

    "Jones minor"

  10. minor, venialadjective

    warranting only temporal punishment

    "venial sin"

  11. minor, modest, small, small-scale, pocket-size, pocket-sizedadjective

    limited in size or scope

    "a small business"; "a newspaper with a modest circulation"; "small-scale plans"; "a pocket-size country"


  1. minornoun

    A person who is below the legal age of responsibility or accountability.

    It is illegal to sell weapons to minors under the age of eighteen.

  2. minornoun

    A subject area of secondary concentration of a student at a college or university, or the student who has chosen such a secondary concentration.

  3. minornoun

    determinant of a square submatrix

  4. minorverb

    To choose or have an area of secondary concentration as a student in a college or university.

  5. minoradjective

    Of little significance or importance.

    The physical appearance of a candidate is a minor factor in recruitment.

  6. minoradjective

    Of a scale which has lowered scale degrees three, six, and seven relative to major, but with the sixth and seventh not always lowered

    a minor scale.

  7. minoradjective

    being the smaller of the two intervals denoted by the same ordinal number

  8. Etymology: From minor

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. MINORadjective

    Etymology: Latin.

    If there are petty errours and minor lapses, not considerably injurious unto faith, yet is it not safe to contemn inferiour falsities. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours, b. v.

    They altered this custom from cases of high concernment to the most trivial debates, the minor part ordinarily entering their protest. Edward Hyde.

    The difference of a third part in so large and collective an account is not strange, if we consider how differently they are set forth in minor and less mistakeable numbers. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.

  2. Minornoun

    King Richard the Second, the first ten years of his reign, was a minor. John Davies, on Ireland.

    He and his muse might be minors, but the libertines are full grown. Jeremy Collier, View of the Stage.

    Long as the year’s dull circle seems to run,
    When the brisk minor pants for twenty-one. Alexander Pope.

    The noblest blood of England having been shed in the grand rebellion, many great families became extinct, or supported only by minors. Jonathan Swift.

    A minor or infant cannot be said to be contumacious, because he cannot appear as a defendant in court, but by his guardian. John Ayliffe, Parergon.

    The second or minor proposition was, that this kingdom hath cause of just fear of overthrow from Spain. Francis Bacon.

    He supposed that a philosopher’s brain was like a forest, where ideas are ranged like animals of several kinds; that the major is the male, the minor the female, which copulate by the middle term, and engender the conclusion. Arbuthnot.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Minoradjective

    inferior in bulk, degree, importance, etc.; less; smaller; of little account; as, minor divisions of a body

  2. Minoradjective

    less by a semitone in interval or difference of pitch; as, a minor third

  3. Minornoun

    a person of either sex who has not attained the age at which full civil rights are accorded; an infant; in England and the United States, one under twenty-one years of age

  4. Minornoun

    the minor term, that is, the subject of the conclusion; also, the minor premise, that is, that premise which contains the minor term; in hypothetical syllogisms, the categorical premise. It is the second proposition of a regular syllogism, as in the following: Every act of injustice partakes of meanness; to take money from another by gaming is an act of injustice; therefore, the taking of money from another by gaming partakes of meanness

  5. Minornoun

    a Minorite; a Franciscan friar

  6. Etymology: [L., a comparative with no positive; akin to AS. min small, G. minder less, OHG. minniro, a., min, adv., Icel. minni, a., minnr, adv., Goth. minniza, a., mins, adv., Ir. & Gael. min small, tender, L. minuere to lessen, Gr. miny`qein, Skr. mi to damage. Cf. Minish, Minister, Minus, Minute.]


  1. Minor

    In law, a minor is a person under a certain age — usually the age of majority — which legally demarcates childhood from adulthood; the age depends upon jurisdiction and application, but is generally 18. "Minor" may also be used in contexts not connected to the overall age of majority; for example, the drinking age in the United States is 21, and people below this age are sometimes referred to as "minors" even if 18. The term underage is often used to refer to those under the age of majority, but may also refer to persons who are under a certain age limit, such as the drinking age, smoking age, age of consent, marriageable age, driving age, voting age etc., with these age limits often being different than the age of majority. The concept of "minor" is not sharply defined in most jurisdictions. The ages of criminal responsibility and consent, the age at which attendance at school ceases to be obligatory, the age at which legally binding contracts can be entered into, and so on, may all be different. In many countries, including Australia, India, Philippines, Brazil, Croatia and Colombia, a minor is defined as a person under the age of 18. In the United States, where the age of majority is set by the individual states, minor usually refers to someone under the age of 18, but can in some states be used in certain areas to define someone under the age of 21. In the criminal justice system in some places, "minor" is not entirely consistent, as a minor may be tried and punished for a crime either as a "juvenile" or, usually only for "extremely serious crimes" such as murder, as an "adult".

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Minor

    mī′nor, adj. smaller: less: inferior in importance, degree, bulk, &c.: inconsiderable: lower: (mus.) smaller by a semitone.—n. a person under age (21 years): (logic) the term of a syllogism which forms the subject of the conclusion.—n. Mī′norite, a Franciscan friar.—adj. belonging to the Franciscans.—n. Minor′ity, the state of being under age (also Mī′norship): the smaller of two parts of a number: a number less than half:—opp. to Majority.—Minor canon, a canon of inferior grade who assists in performing the daily choral service in a cathedral; Minor mode or scale, the mode or scale in music which has the third note only three semitones above the key; Minor premise, the premise which contains the minor term; Minor prophets, the name given to the twelve prophets from Hosea to Malachi inclusive. [L., neut. minus.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. minor

    Under age. Minors will not be enlisted in the army of the United States without the consent of their parents or guardians. If any have enlisted and it becomes known, the Secretary of War, on demand, is required to grant the discharges from the army of minors who have enlisted without the consent of their parents or guardians.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'minor' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2233

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'minor' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2480

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'minor' in Adjectives Frequency: #290

How to pronounce minor?

How to say minor in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of minor in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of minor in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of minor in a Sentence

  1. Henry Kissinger:

    If conflict is permitted to run unconstrained, the outcome could be even worse than it was in Europe, world War I broke out because of a relatively minor crisis ... and today the weapons are more powerful.

  2. Roger Bootle:

    I remember well all the people who said if we were not in the euro that would be it, actually, what happened was it strengthened the City. It killed all the minor financial centers: Amsterdam, Vienna, Milan... We all know the euro business moved to London.

  3. Geoff Mertens:

    Whatever minor headaches of flooding a mailbox, all of that is well worth it for what it's doing for Emma.

  4. Lisa Pruett:

    Flaps on the top of boxes are getting shorter, or the box itself is thinner, two years ago these changes may have been minor. Now they are increasingly impactful to companies.

  5. Shanika Puckett:

    This is real life, things happen... there are life events that you have to process, as I get further in my career... I feel like I [ shouldn't have to ] keep explaining and re-explaining it... I have experience, I have portfolios, I have recommendations and references. Why do we get hung up on these minor details ?

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for minor

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • minderjarigeAfrikaans
  • قاصرArabic
  • vedlejšíCzech
  • plant dan oedWelsh
  • mindre, mindreårig, bifag, ubetydelig, molDanish
  • geringfügig, unbedeutend, moll, klein, geringer, Nebenfach, Minderjähriger, gering, Minderjährige, minderjährige PersonGerman
  • ελάσσων, ήσσων, ασήμαντος, μινόρε, μικρήGreek
  • menor, menor de edadSpanish
  • کسی که زیر سن قانونی استPersian
  • vähämerkityksinen, sivuaineopiskelija, alaikäinen, suorittaa, sivuaine, molli, vähäinenFinnish
  • mineurFrench
  • नाबालिगHindi
  • kisebbHungarian
  • minorIndonesian
  • minoreItalian
  • קַטִיןHebrew
  • マイナー, 未成年者Japanese
  • 미성년자Korean
  • bijvak, onbelangrijk, minderjarigeDutch
  • menor, menor de idadePortuguese
  • незначительный, второстепе́нный, незначи́тельный, ма́лый, малоле́тний, [[непро́фильный]] [[предме́т]], несовершенноле́тний, мино́рныйRussian
  • underårigSwedish
  • சிறியTamil
  • minör, küçük, reşit olmayan, ergin olmayan, tâlî, rüşte ermemiş, yardımcı, ikincilTurkish
  • неповнолітнійUkrainian
  • معمولیUrdu
  • 次要Chinese

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    of all varieties or forms or kinds
    • A. eminent
    • B. ambidextrous
    • C. occlusive
    • D. omnifarious

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