Definition of minority in English:

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Pronunciation: /mʌɪˈnɒrɪti/
Pronunciation: /mɪˈnɒrɪti/

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.


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.


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

Words that rhyme with minority

authority, inferiority, juniority, majority, priority, seniority, sonority, sorority, superiority

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mi¦nor|ity

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