Definition of minority in English:


Syllabification: mi·nor·i·ty
Pronunciation: /məˈnôrətē

noun (plural minorities)

  • 1The smaller number or part, especially a number that is less than half the whole number: harsher measures for the minority of really serious offenders [as modifier]: a minority party
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    • 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
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    • 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 relatively small group of people, especially one commonly discriminated against in a community, society, or nation, differing from others in race, religion, language, or political persuasion: representatives of 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.
  • 2The state or period of being under the age of full legal responsibility.
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    • 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 be in favor of or against something.
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.

in the minority

Belonging to or constituting the smaller group or number: those who acknowledge his influence are certainly in the minority
More example sentences
  • There are poems which express a more conventional view of God, but they're certainly in the minority.
  • You're also, however, running pretty puny databases and certainly in the minority.
  • Pirates would have been my choice but I would have thought I was in the minority.


late 15th century (denoting the state of being a minor): from French minorité or medieval Latin minoritas, from Latin minor 'smaller' (see minor).

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