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from The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
  • intransitive v. To pursue academic studies in a minor field: minored in music.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of little significance or importance.
  • adj. 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. 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. determinant of a square submatrix
  • v. To choose or have an area of secondary concentration as a student in a college or university.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Inferior in bulk, degree, importance, etc.; less; smaller; of little account.
  • adj. 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. 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.

from The 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).
  • 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
  • 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • 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


Middle English, from Latin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin minorĀ ("rather small") (Wiktionary)


  • 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.

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • A minor scale having the same signature as a major scale is said to be its _relative minor_.

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • 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_.

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • A minor scale beginning with the same tone as a major scale is referred to as its _tonic minor_.

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • A _minor triad_ has a minor third and a perfect fifth, _i. e.

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • Opera [/] (? 'version' (? 'major'\d+) (?' minor'\. \d+) (? 'letters'\w*)) the values' version ',' major 'and' minor 'will be set as' 7.23 ',' 7 'and' .23 'respectively.

    The Code Project Latest Articles

  • A _minor third_ has one minor and one major second (_i. e.

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • The term minor only means that their books are short.

    Saints & Scoundrels of the Bible

  • 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 Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

  • The term minor clause is conventionally used to describe structures which lack a Predicator element.

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