Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The smaller in number of two groups forming a whole.
  • noun A group or party having fewer than a controlling number of votes.
  • noun A racial, religious, political, national, or other group thought to be different from the larger group of which it is part.
  • noun A group having little power or representation relative to other groups within a society.
  • noun A member of one of these groups.
  • noun Law The state or period of being younger than the age for legal adulthood.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state of being minor or smaller.
  • noun The minor part in number; the smaller of two aggregates into which a whole is divided numerically; a number less than half: opposed to majority.
  • noun Specifically The smaller of two related aggregates of persons; the minor division of any whole number of persons: as, the rights of the minority; government by minorities.
  • noun The state of being a minor or not come of age, and therefore legally incapacitated for the performance of certain acts; the period or interval before one is of full age, generally the period from birth until twenty-one years of age (see age, 3); in Scots law, the interval between pupilarity and majority. See minor, n., 1.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The state of being a minor, or under age.
  • noun obsolete State of being less or small.
  • noun The smaller number; -- opposed to majority.
  • noun Those members of a legislature that belong to the political party which is in the minority in that institution.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun politics, government, etc. Empowered by or representing a minority (usually a plurality) of votes cast, legislative seats, etc., rather than an outright majority thereof.

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

  • noun any age prior to the legal age
  • noun being or relating to the smaller in number of two parts
  • noun a group of people who differ racially or politically from a larger group of which it is a part

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French minorité, from Medieval Latin minōritās, from Latin minor, smaller; see minor.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French minorité, and its source Late Latin minoritas, from Latin minor.

Examples

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