Definition of minority in English:


Line breaks: mi¦nor|ity
Pronunciation: /mʌɪˈnɒrɪti
, mɪ-/

noun (plural minorities)

1The smaller number or part, especially a number or part representing less than half of the whole: only a minority of properties are rented those who acknowledge his influence are in the minority [as modifier]: a minority party
More example sentences
  • The group is regarded as a fundamentalist organisation representing the views of the minority of Muslims.
  • And for the minority of people who can't, having restricted licensing hours is highly unlikely to deter them.
  • The A-level of old had a specific function: to test the minority of young people who would go on to higher education.
1.1The number of votes cast for or by the smaller party in a legislative assembly: a blocking minority of 23 votes
More example sentences
  • This means that a minority of just 26 votes can block a decision.
  • The balance of voting in the Council of Ministers had, up to this point, meant that a 'blocking minority' of 23 votes was required.
1.2A small group of people within a community or country, differing from the main population in race, religion, language, or political persuasion: ethnic minorities [as modifier]: minority rights
More example sentences
  • It seems extraordinary that as liberals we now feel secure enough to impose our own orthodoxies on the dissenting minorities within our community.
  • There are no real race or religion minorities, much less any clashes.
  • There were no Tamil or Muslim candidates representing the country's main ethnic and religious minorities.
2 [mass noun] The state or period of being under the age of full legal responsibility: intrigues between factions striving to make the king their puppet continued throughout his minority
More example sentences
  • During the claimant's minority the initial limitation period would not run.
  • Claims by children are not limited to those made during their minority; an adult child may seek an order.
  • The context was exceptional, for royal authority was weakened by the minority of Louis XIV.


late 15th century (in sense 2): from French minorité or medieval Latin minoritas, from Latin minor 'smaller' (see minor).


be (or find oneself) in a minority of one

often humorous Be the sole person to hold a particular view: once again, Britain is in a minority of one within the EC
More example sentences
  • Last night there was relief in Downing Street that the prime minister right had not ultimately found himself in a minority of one.
  • In this, as in other quarrels, Wilson found himself in a minority of one.
  • It is also true that, within the Government, let alone the Parliamentary Labour Party, he was in a minority of one in his support for top-up fees as the means by which to achieve that end.

Definition of minority in: