Definition of minority in English:



  • 1The smaller number or part, especially a number that is less than half the whole number.

    ‘harsher measures for the minority of really serious offenders’
    [as modifier] ‘a minority party’
    • ‘There is overwhelming evidence that the Holocaust was real, yet a minority of ideologically driven historians still deny it.’
    • ‘And for the minority of people who can't, having restricted licensing hours is highly unlikely to deter them.’
    • ‘Throughout this period, there had always been a minority of rebels who challenged the rule of the clock.’
    • ‘He claimed those allegedly involved represented a very small minority of the district's Asian community.’
    • ‘How do we detect the minority of patients who really would be frightened?’
    • ‘It is an option only suited to a minority of tourists - independent travellers, prepared to rough it and able to speak Spanish.’
    • ‘The minority of settlers that chose to defy the ultimatums knew that the government meant business.’
    • ‘Only a minority of organizing campaigns use such tactics effectively, she says.’
    • ‘Focusing on a minority of more profitable brands that are believed to have the greatest growth potential will actually help retailers.’
    • ‘The A-level of old had a specific function: to test the minority of young people who would go on to higher education.’
    • ‘So it looks as if, for the foreseeable future, unfurnished properties will comprise a tiny minority of the private rented market.’
    • ‘Operative repair is necessary for the minority of cases that don't respond to splinting.’
    • ‘There would appear to be a whole range of compatibility issues with small programs that a minority of users have on their computer.’
    • ‘Today, only a minority of islands bother with cutting peats.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, even though it may only be a small minority of young people who are going off the rails, the report reveals much that is worrying.’
    • ‘There would be only a tiny minority of Australians who would not support tough action being taken against terrorists.’
    • ‘Perhaps because it got it from the founder of the state of Bulgaria, it is one of a minority of Sofia streets never to have been renamed.’
    • ‘The group is regarded as a fundamentalist organisation representing the views of the minority of Muslims.’
    • ‘It is only in a minority of cases that the problem is stress-related.’
    • ‘These laws are aimed at the minority of annoying customers and not at the lovely ones.’
    1. 1.1The number of votes cast for or by the smaller party in a legislative assembly.
      ‘a blocking minority of 23 votes’
      • ‘This means that a minority of just 26 votes can block a decision.’
      • ‘The balance of voting in the Council of Ministers had, up to this point, meant that a 'blocking minority' of 23 votes was required.’
    2. 1.2A relatively small group of people, especially one commonly discriminated against in a community, society, or nation, differing from others in race, religion, language, or political persuasion.
      ‘representatives of ethnic minorities’
      [as modifier] ‘minority rights’
      • ‘In the main, not all minorities are beleaguered and not all non-minorities are privileged.’
      • ‘Equally important, we have to go address the growing minority populations in this country.’
      • ‘No wonder we never hear of any member of the minority community ever holding any position of importance in these countries.’
      • ‘By the year 2010, 50 per cent of people living in London are going to be from the minority communities.’
      • ‘Under what criteria is it acceptable for a political minority to take by force what it cannot win at the ballot box?’
      • ‘The minority community generally feel that the scales of justice are tilted widely against them.’
      • ‘More than a third of the world's Muslim population live as minorities.’
      • ‘Which brings us back to the Sikhs, who before this incident in Birmingham were the model of a law-abiding minority community.’
      • ‘Can there be true secularism and democracy in Kashmir without giving the Pandit minority a political space?’
      • ‘It seems extraordinary that as liberals we now feel secure enough to impose our own orthodoxies on the dissenting minorities within our community.’
      • ‘The main Canadian minorities have better social conditions and benefit from a different pattern of government transfers to the poor.’
      • ‘This allowed minorities and ethnic communities to flourish here.’
      • ‘There were no Tamil or Muslim candidates representing the country's main ethnic and religious minorities.’
      • ‘It wasn't even welfare reform, because that was popular with minorities.’
      • ‘Most nations practice discrimination against foreigners and disfavor minorities within their countries.’
      • ‘There are no real race or religion minorities, much less any clashes.’
      • ‘The day Hinduism becomes a minority religion in India, it will be no different from Pakistan.’
      • ‘Many Roma communities have been settled for centuries as established minorities within countries that still don't accept them.’
      • ‘His hatred for minorities and communists comes out transparently.’
      • ‘There are two main religious minorities which apply for asylum in the United Kingdom.’
  • 2The state or period of being under the age of full legal responsibility.

    • ‘Claims by children are not limited to those made during their minority; an adult child may seek an order.’
    • ‘The context was exceptional, for royal authority was weakened by the minority of Louis XIV.’
    • ‘During the claimant's minority the initial limitation period would not run.’
    youth, early years, early days, early life, infancy, babyhood, boyhood, girlhood, pre-teens, prepubescence, adolescence, teens, teenage years, young adulthood, immaturity
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Late 15th century (denoting the state of being a minor): from French minorité or medieval Latin minoritas, from Latin minor smaller (see minor).