American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Lesser or smaller in amount, extent, or size.
- adj. Lesser in importance, rank, or stature: a minor politician.
- adj. Lesser in seriousness or danger: a minor injury.
- adj. Law Being under legal age; not yet a legal adult.
- adj. Chiefly British Relating to or being the younger or junior of two pupils with the same surname.
- adj. Of or relating to a secondary area of academic specialization.
- adj. Logic Dealing with a more restricted category.
- adj. Music Relating to or being a minor scale.
- adj. Music Less in distance by a half step than the corresponding major interval.
- adj. Music Based on a minor scale: a minor key.
- n. One that is lesser in comparison with others of the same class.
- n. Law One who has not reached full legal age.
- n. A secondary area of specialized academic study, requiring fewer courses or credits than a major.
- n. One studying in a secondary area of specialization: She is a physics minor.
- n. Logic A minor premise.
- n. Logic A minor term.
- n. Music A minor key, scale, or interval.
- n. Sports The minor leagues of a sport, especially baseball.
- v. To pursue academic studies in a minor field: minored in music.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Smaller (than the other); less; lesser: applied definitively to one of two units or parts, and opposed to major or greater: as, the minor axis of an ellipse: the minor premise of a syllogism; the minor part of an estate.
- Smaller than others; of inferior rank or degree; lower; hence, small; inconsiderable; not capital, serious, or weighty: as, the minor officers of government; a minor canon; the minor points of an argument; minor faults or considerations.
- Under age.
- In music: Of intervals, less; shorter; smaller (as compared with major intervals). The word is more often applied to seconds, thirds, sixths, sevenths, ninths, etc., designating an interval equal to the corresponding major interval less one half-step. It has also been applied of late to fourths, fifths, and eighths, and is then equivalent to the older term diminished. Finally, it is used to designate the smaller of two intervals that differ by a minute quantity, as a minor tone (10:9), which is a comma less than a major tone: opposed to major. See
- Of tonalities and scales, characterized by a minor third and also usually by a minor sixth, and often a minor seventh: opposed to major. See key, tonality, scale
- of triads and chords generally, characterized by a minor third between the lowest and the next to the lowest tones: opposed to major. See triad, and chord
- Of modes, characterized by the use of a minor tonality and of minor cadences: as, the piece is written throughout in the minor mode: opposed to major. See major
- n. A person of either sex who is under age; one who is of less than the legal age for the performance of certain acts; one under the authority of parents or guardians, because of not having reached the age at which the law permits one to make contracts and manage one's own property; an infant in the legal sense in Scots law, minor, when used in contradistinction to pupil, signifies a person above the age of pupilarity (twelve in females and fourteen in males) and under that of majority, which in both sexes is twenty-one years. The technical term in English and United States law for one under the age of legal capacity (twenty-one years)is infant, but minor is used in the same sense in general literature. Compare
age, n., 3.
- n. In logic, the minor term, or the minor premise. See I.
- n. In music, the minor mode or a minor tonality or minor chord taken absolutely.
- n. [capitalized] A Franciscan friar; a Minorite: so called from a name of the Franciscan order, Fratres Minores, or Lesser Brethren. Also called Friar Minor.
- adj. Of little significance or importance.
- adj. music Of a scale which has lowered scale degrees three, six, and seven relative to major, but with the sixth and seventh not always lowered
- adj. music being the smaller of the two intervals denoted by the same ordinal number
- n. A person who is below the legal age of responsibility or accountability.
- n. A subject area of secondary concentration of a student at a college or university, or the student who has chosen such a secondary concentration.
- n. mathematics determinant of a square submatrix
- v. To choose or have an area of secondary concentration as a student in a college or university.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Inferior in bulk, degree, importance, etc.; less; smaller; of little account.
- adj. (Mus.) Less by a semitone in interval or difference of pitch.
- n. 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.
- n. (Logic) 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.
- n. A Minorite; a Franciscan friar.
- adj. warranting only temporal punishment
- adj. limited in size or scope
- adj. of lesser importance or stature or rank
- adj. of a scale or mode
- adj. lesser in scope or effect
- adj. not of legal age
- adj. of lesser seriousness or danger
- n. a young person of either sex
- adj. of the younger of two boys with the same family name
- adj. of your secondary field of academic concentration or specialization
- adj. inferior in number or size or amount
- From Latin minor ("rather small") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Latin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“This interval between the first and third tones consists of four half-steps in the major scale and of three half-steps in the minor scale and this difference in size has given rise to the designation _major_ for the scale having the larger third, and _minor_ for the scale having the smaller one.”
“A minor scale having the same signature as a major scale is said to be its _relative minor_.”
“E [flat], d of F, etc., the small letter being used to refer to the minor key or scale, while the capital letter indicates the major key or scale unless accompanied by the word _minor_.”
“A minor scale beginning with the same tone as a major scale is referred to as its _tonic minor_.”
“A _minor triad_ has a minor third and a perfect fifth, _i. e.”
“Opera [/] (? 'version' (? 'major'\d+) (?' minor'\. \d+) (? 'letters'\w*)) the values' version ',' major 'and' minor 'will be set as' 7.23 ',' 7 'and' .23 'respectively.”
“A _minor third_ has one minor and one major second (_i. e.”
“The term minor only means that their books are short.”
“In reference to persons, certain uses of the word minor may also be mentioned which depend upon usage rather than upon law: the younger of two persons of the same name is sometimes called minor (or "the less") as St. James the Less.”
“The term minor clause is conventionally used to describe structures which lack a Predicator element.”
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