Definition of minus in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmīnəs/


1With the subtraction of: what’s ninety-three minus seven?
More example sentences
  • One profit measure was net farm income from operations, calculated as total revenues minus total costs.
  • However, its gross profit margins - revenues minus the cost of manufacturing goods - were lower than expected.
  • The credit is equal to the lesser of 7.5 percent of the cost minus any government financial incentives or $4.50 per rated watt of the system.
1.1 informal Lacking; deprived of: he was minus a finger on each hand
More example sentences
  • In the spring, Blackburn returned to an astonished Gloucester, minus his fingers, half of each thumb, and most of his toes.
  • It's as though he's desperate to fool us into thinking we're watching a Hollywood action flick minus machine gun fire, explosions, and fast cars.
  • Lots of pink neon and bluish glass brick, it had the feel of a fancy health spa minus the weight machines or half the lightbulbs.
2(Of temperature) below zero: minus 10° Fahrenheit
More example sentences
  • Bills for winter heating came to 200 for gas during a particularly cold month last year when temperatures dropped below minus 20 degrees.
  • At temperatures below minus 5 degrees Celsius in heavy snow, small debris and snow can pack around the warm saw motor and form a solid ice pack.
  • This is a major problem as the winter temperature drops below minus 10 degrees at night.


1(Before a number) below zero; negative: minus five
More example sentences
  • This brings Limerick West fractionally above the minus five per cent limit.
  • Zero and minus one John Dillon Street, are the unusual addresses for the pair of semi-detached town houses, both a modest 1,200 sq ft.
  • So why can't we devise a mathematical system that allows two plus two to equal seventeen, ten to equal zero and the square root of two to equal minus three?
2(After a grade) slightly worse than: my lowest grade was a B minus
More example sentences
  • In fact, all the minus grades (A-, B-, C-) had relatively low graduation rates.
  • Emergency medical care in the USA rates a C-minus, with hospitals increasingly facing overcrowding, a lack of financial support and a growing number of uninsured patients.
3Having a negative electric charge.
Example sentences
  • What texts don't usually tell you is that charges both plus and minus attract uncharged things.
  • A quark has an electric charge of plus or minus one-third or plus or minus two-thirds; so when two are combined they add up to plus one, minus one, or zero.


1 short for minus sign.
Example sentences
  • Specifying a plus or minus before a number allows relative positioning.
  • A minus in front of a number indicates an outflow of funds.
1.1A mathematical operation of subtraction.
Example sentences
  • "Minus" is a binary operation (performed on two numbers).
  • Minus, on the other hand, is the subtraction operation.
2A disadvantage: for every plus with this equipment there can be a minus
More example sentences
  • The two surveys have different pluses and minuses and, in my analysis of the labor market, I give weight to both.
  • As Els has pointed out, doing what he is currently doing has no minuses and many positives for all concerned.
  • The discrepancy stems, in part, from the different methodologies - both of which have their pluses and minuses, researchers say.


on the minus side

Used to introduce a negative statement: on the minus side, the economy is unbalanced
More example sentences
  • On the plus side I'm somewhat handy with lumber and tools, on the minus side I'm pushing 71.
  • On the minus side, no sooner had the money been saved than the city had to tap it to cover an unexpected $4.5-million deficit.
  • On the minus side: I arrived around 1pm and there was no room available for check-in.


Late 15th century: from Latin, neuter of minor 'less'.

Words that rhyme with minus

Aquinas, Delphinus, echinus, Linus, Longinus, Plotinus, sinus, vinous

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mi·nus

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