Definition of plus or minus in US English:

plus or minus


  • Used to define the margin of error of an estimate or calculation.

    ‘the coral was estimated to be 840 years old, plus or minus 40 years’
    • ‘The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.’
    • ‘Its nominal dates are 418.7 to 416.0 million years ago, plus or minus 2.7 million years at either end.’
    • ‘I was working to stay plus or minus 300 feet from the assigned altitude because of the up-and-down drafts.’
    • ‘It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.’
    • ‘Don't be alarmed if your oven is off by plus or minus 50 degrees.’
    • ‘The poll surveyed 1,016 adults; the margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.’
    • ‘The flight service says its count is accurate within a range of plus or minus 10 percent.’
    • ‘Since the poll's error margin is plus or minus 4 percentage points, the race is virtually tied.’
    • ‘Keep in mind that most power supplies inside the computers can reliably handle only plus or minus 10 percent in voltage fluctuation.’
    • ‘This prediction is uncertain to within plus or minus two days.’