What does minor mean?

Definitions for minor
ˈmaɪ nərmi·nor

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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.


  1. minor

    A minor is generally defined as someone who is under the age of majority, not legally able to perform certain actions or decisions, such as voting or signing contracts. In addition, a minor could refer to a secondary or less important role in a particular situation or field. In the field of music, minor is a term used to describe a key, scale, or chord, having a melancholic or somber sound. In the field of academics, minor is used to represent a secondary focus of study. Hence, the term 'minor' has diverse meanings in different contexts.

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.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. MINOR

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minor is ranked #1145 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Minor surname appeared 30,702 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 10 would have the surname Minor.

    55% or 16,886 total occurrences were White.
    37.1% or 11,409 total occurrences were Black.
    4.2% or 1,293 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.3% or 734 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 249 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.4% or 132 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

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. Hillary Clinton:

    I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on. ... If it were a first-time traffic citation, if it were something minor, a misdemeanor, that's entirely different, this man had already been deported five times. And he should have been deported at the request of the federal government.

  2. Mitchell Garabedian:

    Historically, this is the first time ever in the United States that a Cardinal has been criminally charged with a sexual crime against a minor, it takes an enormous amount of courage for a sexual abuse victim to report having been sexually abused to investigators and proceed through the criminal process.

  3. Kayle Olson:

    Danielle has brought forth many allegations. She has put the minor children on the front line of this tragic battle when they should have not ever been, this should have remained private and not exposed by her in the manner it has been.

  4. Lee Quane:

    In spite of the minor depreciation in the renminbi (yuan) against the dollar over the summer, it has strengthened against most other currencies leading to Shanghai becoming the most expensive Asian city for international assignees, it is likely that major Chinese cities will remain expensive destinations for mobile executives for the foreseeable future.

  5. Daniel Rey.Ramone:

    Joey would write songs that had minor chords in it sometimes.

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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    a hypothetical description of a complex entity or process
    • A. vehicle
    • B. accommodation
    • C. model
    • D. witness

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