[ mahy-ner ]
See synonyms for minor on Thesaurus.com
  1. lesser, as in size, extent, or importance, or being or noting the lesser of two: a minor share.

  2. not serious, important, etc.: a minor wound; a minor role.

  1. having low rank, status, position, etc.: a minor official.

  2. under the legal age of full responsibility.

  3. Education. of or relating to a field of study constituting a student's minor.

  4. Music.

    • (of an interval) smaller by a chromatic half step than the corresponding major interval.

    • (of a chord) having a minor third between the root and the note next above it.

  5. of or relating to the minority.

  6. (initial capital letter) (of two male students in an English public school who have the same surname) being the younger or lower in standing: Jackson Minor sits over here.

  1. a person under the legal age of full responsibility.

  2. a person of inferior rank or importance in a specified group, class, etc.

  1. Education.

    • a subject or a course of study pursued by a student, especially a candidate for a degree, subordinately or supplementarily to a major or principal subject or course.

    • a subject for which less credit than a major is granted in college or, occasionally, in high school.

  2. Music. a minor interval, chord, scale, etc.

  3. Mathematics. the determinant of the matrix formed by crossing out the row and column containing a given element in a matrix.

  4. (initial capital letter) Friar Minor.

  5. the minors, Sports. the minor leagues.

verb (used without object)
  1. to choose or study as a secondary academic subject or course: to major in sociology and minor in art history.

Origin of minor

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Latin: “less, smaller”; akin to Old English min “small,” Old Norse minni “smaller,” Gothic minniza “younger,” Sanskrit mīnāti “(he) diminishes”

Other words for minor

Opposites for minor

Words that may be confused with minor

Words Nearby minor

Other definitions for Minor (2 of 2)

[ mahy-ner ]

  1. a male given name.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use minor in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for minor


/ (ˈmaɪnə) /

  1. lesser or secondary in amount, extent, importance, or degree: a minor poet; minor burns

  2. of or relating to the minority

  1. below the age of legal majority

  2. music

    • (of a scale) having a semitone between the second and third and fifth and sixth degrees (natural minor): See also harmonic minor scale, melodic minor scale

    • (of a key) based on the minor scale

    • (postpositive) denoting a specified key based on the minor scale: C minor

    • (of an interval) reduced by a semitone from the major

    • (of a chord, esp a triad) having a minor third above the root

    • (esp in jazz) of or relating to a chord built upon a minor triad and containing a minor seventh: a minor ninth See also minor key, minor mode

  3. logic (of a term or premise) having less generality or scope than another term or proposition

  4. US education of or relating to an additional secondary subject taken by a student

  5. (immediately postpositive) British the younger or junior: sometimes used after the surname of a schoolboy if he has an older brother in the same school: Hunt minor

  6. (postpositive) bell-ringing of, relating to, or denoting a set of changes rung on six bells: grandsire minor

  1. a person or thing that is lesser or secondary

  2. a person below the age of legal majority

  1. US and Canadian education a subsidiary subject in which a college or university student needs fewer credits than in his or her major

  2. music a minor key, chord, mode, or scale

  3. logic a minor term or premise

  4. maths

    • a determinant associated with a particular element of a given determinant and formed by removing the row and column containing that element

    • Also called: cofactor, signed minor the number equal to this reduced determinant

  5. (capital) another name for Minorite

  1. (intr usually foll by in) US education to take a minor

Origin of minor

C13: from Latin: less, smaller; related to Old High German minniro smaller, Gothic minniza least, Latin minuere to diminish, Greek meiōn less

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012