Definitions

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

  • preposition Mathematics Reduced by the subtraction of; less.
  • preposition Informal Without.
  • adjective Mathematics Negative or on the negative part of a scale.
  • adjective Ranking on the lower end of a designated scale.
  • noun The minus sign (−).
  • noun A negative quantity.
  • noun A deficiency or defect.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Less(by a certain amount): followed by a noun as an apparent object (a preposition, by, to be supplied): as, the net amount is so much minus the waste or tare; 25 minus 9 is 16.
  • Less than nothing; belonging to the inverse or negative side, as of an account; lying in the direction from the origin of measurement opposite to ordinary quantities: below zero, or below the lowest point of positive or upward reckoning: as, a minus amount or sum (that, is, an amount or sum representing loss or debt); a minus quantity in an equation (that is, one having the minus sign before it); the tempera ture was minus twenty degrees (written —20, and read “twenty degrees below zero”)
  • Marking or yielding less than nothing or less than zero; negative in value or result: as, the minus sign (see def. 1).
  • Deprived or devoid of; not having; without, as something necessary: as, he escaped minus his hat and coat; a gun minus its lock.
  • Lacking positive value; wanting.

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

  • noun A factor counted as a disadvantage; a loss or potential loss in a situation or plan.
  • adjective (Math.) Less; requiring to be subtracted; negative.
  • adjective (Math.) the sign [-] denoting minus, or less, prefixed to negative quantities, or quantities to be subtracted. See Negative sign, under Negative.

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

  • conjunction mathematics Difference of the previous number from the following number.
  • preposition informal without.
  • adjective mathematics Negative.
  • adjective On the negative part of a scale.
  • adjective Ranking just below a designated rating.
  • noun mathematics A minus sign ().
  • noun mathematics A negative quantity.
  • noun A defect or deficiency.

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

  • noun an arithmetic operation in which the difference between two numbers is calculated
  • adjective on the negative side or lower end of a scale
  • adjective involving disadvantage or harm

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Latin minus, neuter of minor, less; see mei- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the neuter form of Latin minor ("smaller").

Examples

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