One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A function, set element, etc., that can be said to be inferior to, or to constitute the lower bound of, another mathematical entity of the same type, according to a particular criterion; specifically (a) a function whose absolute value for any value of the argument is not greater than the corresponding absolute value of a given function; (b) an element of an ordered set that is less than or equal to every element of a given subset.
Designating or characteristic of a minorant.
1930s; earliest use found in Annals of Mathematics. From minor + -ant.
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