Definition of minus in English:



  • 1With the subtraction of.

    ‘what's ninety three minus seven?’
    • ‘Each player's score for the hand consists of: the total value of any bonuses they are entitled to, plus the total value of all the cards they have melded, minus the total value of any cards remaining in their hands.’
    • ‘This would net a profit of £50, minus the price I paid for the option.’
    • ‘They are paid 93 pence per item, minus 11 percent mark-up.’
    • ‘The Electricity Commission levy will recover the cost of securing reserve capacity, minus the revenue from any electricity sold from the reserve generation.’
    • ‘But Argentina also has a primary budget surplus - the difference between revenues and expenditures minus interest payments.’
    • ‘This many people paying this much a month plus this much for the game and expansion packs, minus this much for costs equals this much profit - each and every single month.’
    • ‘Which is to say, the number of breaks it takes to completely split a chocolate bar into small squares equals the number of squares minus 1.’
    • ‘First, the Civil War period saw Congress define net income as revenue minus expenses.’
    • ‘In other words, saving is the baker's real income (his production of bread) minus the amount of bread that the baker consumed.’
    • ‘But since equity equals assets minus total debt, a company decreases its equity by increasing debt.’
    • ‘Well I can factor out the imaginary unit number (i or the square root of minus one) and plot the result on the same graph.’
    • ‘However, its gross profit margins - revenues minus the cost of manufacturing goods - were lower than expected.’
    • ‘Corporations are taxed on their revenue minus their expenses.’
    • ‘Ninety minus 20 because the winds are going in different direction.’
    • ‘From 1989 to 1999, the total wealth or net worth of households (their total assets minus debt) more than doubled.’
    • ‘When you look at gross revenue minus payroll, dairy is No.1.’
    • ‘One profit measure was net farm income from operations, calculated as total revenues minus total costs.’
    • ‘He is demanding the total cost of the course minus the deposit amount as a refund.’
    • ‘Second, proprietors' equities at the end of the year equaled proprietors' equities at the beginning of the year plus revenues and minus expenses for the year.’
    • ‘The credit is equal to the lesser of 7.5 percent of the cost minus any government financial incentives or $4.50 per rated watt of the system.’
    take away, take from, take off, deduct, debit, abstract, discount, dock, remove, withdraw
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    1. 1.1informal Lacking; deprived of.
      ‘he was minus a finger on each hand’
      • ‘Finally getting fed up with the whole thing, I decided on the outfit Mattie had made me wear while we were in Florida… minus the shorts.’
      • ‘Easkey were minus five regulars David Rolston, James Cawley, Kieran Brennan, Shane Kennedy and Dessie Sloyane.’
      • ‘I walked down the road, trying not to look like I'd been attacked, robbed and dropped on the other side of the city minus my short term memory.’
      • ‘Greg and I were in a band for a short moment with the members of Elefant minus Diego called Debutaunt.’
      • ‘Think of the Foo Fighters minus the glossy production with an apocalyptic pop sensibility, and you come some way to understanding of what Rival Schools are about.’
      • ‘The rest of the travelers, minus Mai plus Hachiko, followed.’
      • ‘He stayed for six months initially and developed a machine that lifted the beet from the ground minus the stones that used to cause a lot of damage to the machinery.’
      • ‘Easkey were minus five regulars Kieran Brennan, David Rolston James Cawley, Shane Kennedy and Dessie Sloyane.’
      • ‘Eventually he was given the machine back, minus its disc - which had apparently been destroyed.’
      • ‘Five hours, minus lunch, and his team loved him because he still managed to get a lot more done than average.’
      • ‘The wallet was in fine condition, minus my missing credit/debit cards, ID, etc., but everything else was there.’
      • ‘It's kind of addictive, since it has everything I like about the boardgame, minus all the math…’
      • ‘It's as though he's desperate to fool us into thinking we're watching a Hollywood action flick minus machine gun fire, explosions, and fast cars.’
      • ‘Lots of pink neon and bluish glass brick, it had the feel of a fancy health spa minus the weight machines or half the lightbulbs.’
      • ‘I have that one on tape, minus about five minutes.’
      • ‘‘He was detained a short time later having left the scene minus a shoe and bleeding from the elbow,’ said Sgt French.’
      • ‘Instead, five different drivers were chosen to drive the cars, minus bombs, to Dublin.’
      • ‘In the spring, Blackburn returned to an astonished Gloucester, minus his fingers, half of each thumb, and most of his toes.’
      • ‘At the end of 1994, the Beatles, minus Lennon, released ‘Free As A Bird’.’
      • ‘City of God director Fernando Meirelles is joining three of the film's stars to answer questions and premiere their latest short film before the party kicks off, minus the young men with guns.’
      deficient in, in need of, low on, short on, missing, with an insufficiency of, with too few …, with too little …
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  • 2(of temperature) below zero by.

    ‘minus 40 degrees centigrade’
    • ‘With temperatures plunging to minus 7 degrees centigrade, this new snow facility ensures a winter experience in this rainforest country.’
    • ‘Drivers were warned to look out for black ice as they headed for work today after one of the coldest nights saw temperatures plummet to minus 5 degrees centigrade.’
    • ‘The temperature outside was below minus 20 C, and after three nights, I got very sick.’
    • ‘Bills for winter heating came to 200 for gas during a particularly cold month last year when temperatures dropped below minus 20 degrees.’
    • ‘The average winter temperature is minus 7 degrees with an average annual snowfall of 74 inches.’
    • ‘Temperatures will drop to minus 26 degrees centigrade and the team of eight are likely to suffer altitude sickness on a mountain used by many as final preparation to summit Everest.’
    • ‘At lunchtime on Saturday, Coldstones weather station was recording a wind chill temperature of minus 10 degrees.’
    • ‘At the top of the troposphere, the temperature reaches minus 55 degrees C.’
    • ‘These tough creatures, which can survive temperatures as low as minus 57 degrees centigrade, evolved from two different lines.’
    • ‘The temperature was minus 10 degrees centigrade so we gathered around the campfire inside, talking, singing and getting to know each other.’
    • ‘All outdoor work is suspended when the temperature drops below minus 48.’
    • ‘Even when the temperature falls to minus 30 degrees centigrade, it is still quite cozy living in such a cottage.’
    • ‘Heavy snow and ice blanketed the Balkans on Christmas Day, blocking roads and closing airports as temperatures plunged to near minus 20 degrees centigrade.’
    • ‘The organizer has built a large refrigerator covering 1,500 square metres and temperature inside is kept below minus 14 centigrade degrees.’
    • ‘This is a major problem as the winter temperature drops below minus 10 degrees at night.’
    • ‘Zero Kelvin is minus 273.15 degrees Celsius, theoretically as low as a temperature can get.’
    • ‘At temperatures below minus 5 degrees Celsius in heavy snow, small debris and snow can pack around the warm saw motor and form a solid ice pack.’
    • ‘All the three months, the temperatures were minus 35 degree Celsius and below.’
    • ‘But it was an experience because we were shooting in minus 20 degrees temperature, two people had died of cold, and the doctors had advised us to be careful as we had to do a running sequence the next day.’
    • ‘The temperature dropped to minus 25 degrees centigrade early last Tuesday morning while survivors were waiting for the arrival of relief materials.’


  • 1(before a number) below zero; negative.

    ‘minus five’
    • ‘So rapid has been the increase in debt that the savings share of household income was minus three percent in the March quarter of this year.’
    • ‘Total domestic demand is estimated to have grown 2.8 percent in the US, 0.7 percent in the EU and minus 1.4 percent in Japan.’
    • ‘Total shareholder return is minus 34 per cent over the past five years.’
    • ‘Non-residential investment growth fell from 9 per cent to minus 5 per cent.’
    • ‘Salford was 11 th on the list, with a population decline of minus six per cent, or 12,500 people, to 216,500.’
    • ‘The Plaintiff submits that from the Defendant's own report, cites the Gartner Lee report and refers to the till of the site as having hydraulic conductivity of about ten to the minus five meters per second.’
    • ‘This brings Limerick West fractionally above the minus five per cent limit.’
    • ‘Waterford Wedgwood's figures were minus 15 and minus 20 per cent.’
    • ‘The real problem is that people receive a plus 2 to minus 2 percent return on their money in Social Security, depending upon the life expectancy of their ethnic and gender group.’
    • ‘Such systems use target zones that are relatively wide, that is allowing the exchange rate to vary by, for example, plus and minus 10 per cent around a central rate.’
    • ‘Zero and minus one John Dillon Street, are the unusual addresses for the pair of semi-detached town houses, both a modest 1,200 sq ft.’
    • ‘Ashikaga's capital adequacy ratio, a measure of a bank's financial health, had fallen to minus 3.7 percent at the end of September, Takenaka said.’
    • ‘She had an approval rating of minus 33 per cent last May.’
    • ‘Neil Kinnock is at minus 1, Chris Patten at minus 2, and Peter Mandelson at minus 49 percent.’
    • ‘The fixed income sector, a long-time top performer among all MPF funds, posted a slight loss, with an average return of minus 0.96 per cent.’
    • ‘Deflation would be equivalent to an inflation of minus two percent pa, with prices generally decreasing.’
    • ‘It is a movement from minus nine per cent to plus 17 per cent growth.’
    • ‘A household savings rate of minus 11 percent is not good news for New Zealand - it is very bad news - and the Government could be taking a first step by backing our amendment.’
    • ‘So why can't we devise a mathematical system that allows two plus two to equal seventeen, ten to equal zero and the square root of two to equal minus three?’
    • ‘In the commercial space it was minus 19 per cent and in the SME space it was 13 per cent.’
    unencumbered by, unaffected by, clear of, without, devoid of, lacking in
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  • 2(after a grade) rather worse than.

    ‘C minus’
    • ‘Emergency medical care in the USA rates a C-minus, with hospitals increasingly facing overcrowding, a lack of financial support and a growing number of uninsured patients.’
    • ‘In fact, all the minus grades (A-, B-, C-) had relatively low graduation rates.’
  • 3Having a negative electric charge.

    • ‘What texts don't usually tell you is that charges both plus and minus attract uncharged things.’
    • ‘A quark has an electric charge of plus or minus one-third or plus or minus two-thirds; so when two are combined they add up to plus one, minus one, or zero.’


  • 1

    short for minus sign
    • ‘Specifying a plus or minus before a number allows relative positioning.’
    • ‘A minus in front of a number indicates an outflow of funds.’
    1. 1.1A mathematical operation of subtraction.
      • ‘"Minus" is a binary operation (performed on two numbers).’
      • ‘Minus, on the other hand, is the subtraction operation.’
  • 2A disadvantage.

    ‘for every plus with this equipment there can be a minus’
    • ‘In this way I may know the pluses and minuses of my works,’ he said.’
    • ‘The discrepancy stems, in part, from the different methodologies - both of which have their pluses and minuses, researchers say.’
    • ‘One is dealing with a case where you have a relationship of parent and child and a relationship which has, in a sense, pluses and minuses, all amounting to the experience, if I can use that expression, of parenthood.’
    • ‘We agreed there were pluses and minuses - more minuses.’
    • ‘There were pluses and minuses, and an assistant secretary for intelligence could coordinate with an assistant secretary for C3, but we did not end up with a strong feeling on this issue one way or the other.’
    • ‘There are pluses and minuses for each type of program.’
    • ‘While spending an enjoyable afternoon chatting over cups of tea with Norm in Manchester yesterday we talked (among many other things) about some of the pluses and minuses of this blogging business.’
    • ‘He shakily concludes that, in Roosevelt, ‘one senses a presence larger than can be conveyed by any balance sheet tally of pluses and minuses.’’
    • ‘Let's do a quick analysis of the pluses and minuses (not ‘pros’ and ‘cons’, for obvious reasons).’
    • ‘This should include better communication with growers on what the pluses and minuses might be in planting different seed varieties.’
    • ‘‘This has pluses and minuses for us,’ Marquez says.’
    • ‘As Els has pointed out, doing what he is currently doing has no minuses and many positives for all concerned.’
    • ‘There are more pluses than minuses, but we have to use the technology carefully and wisely.’
    • ‘To the author's credit, he does a nice job of discussing pluses and minuses of both, and ultimately he suggests that both have value and may appeal to those with differing values on what is most important in making their decision.’
    • ‘You lose some control and some reaction time, but the pluses outweigh the minuses.’
    • ‘There are pluses and minuses to living at home,’ Ashton said with a roll of his eyes.’
    • ‘Unfortunately the minuses of the disc so outweigh the scant positives.’
    • ‘The two surveys have different pluses and minuses and, in my analysis of the labor market, I give weight to both.’
    • ‘We are just like any other country in the region, with our pluses and our minuses.’
    • ‘On top of just possessing different battlefield items, they all have statistic bonuses and minuses that they can add to each character.’
    disadvantage, snag, downside, stumbling block, catch, hitch, pitfall, fly in the ointment
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Late 15th century: from Latin, neuter of minor less.