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minority

[mi-nawr-i-tee, -nor, -mahy-] /mɪˈnɔr ɪ ti, -ˈnɒr, -maɪ-/
noun, plural minorities.
1.
the smaller part or number; a number, part, or amount forming less than half of the whole.
2.
a smaller party or group opposed to a majority, as in voting or other action.
3.
a group differing, especially in race, religion, or ethnic background, from the majority of a population:
legislation aimed at providing equal rights for minorities.
4.
a member of such a group.
5.
the state or period of being under the legal age of full responsibility.
adjective
6.
of or pertaining to a minority.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; < Medieval Latin minōritās. See minor, -ity
Related forms
nonminority, adjective
prominority, adjective
Synonyms
5. childhood, boyhood, girlhood.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for minority
  • We would no longer tolerate a situation in which the minority had leisure because the majority had labor.
  • If you think eating insects is gross, you may be in the cultural minority.
  • If your last cellphone purchase wasn't a smartphone and you're living stateside, consider yourself in the minority.
  • Intermarriage is also eating away at the minority share of the population.
  • It has certainly been a landmark year for the national recognition of minority and indigenous communities across the globe.
  • Those in between are in the minority of those in between.
  • Today a vocal minority is complicating the picture by suggesting that the die-off could have been more gradual.
  • And while scientists from minority groups may be rare, they do exist.
  • These individuals, however, seem to largely be in the minority.
  • The key is to identify this minority and empower them.
British Dictionary definitions for minority

minority

/maɪˈnɒrɪtɪ; mɪ-/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
the smaller in number of two parts, factions, or groups
2.
a group that is different racially, politically, etc, from a larger group of which it is a part
3.
  1. the state of being a minor
  2. the period during which a person is below legal age Compare majority
4.
(modifier) relating to or being a minority: a minority interest, a minority opinion
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin minōritās, from Latin minor
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
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Word Origin and History for minority
n.

1530s, "condition of being smaller," from Middle French minorité (15c.), or directly from Medieval Latin minoritatem (nominative minoritas), from Latin minor (see minor (adj.)). Meaning "state of being under legal age" is from 1540s; that of "smaller number or part" is from 1736. The meaning "group of people separated from the rest of a community by race, religion, language, etc." is from 1919, originally in an Eastern European context.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for minority

a culturally, ethnically, or racially distinct group that coexists with but is subordinate to a more dominant group. As the term is used in the social sciences, this subordinancy is the chief defining characteristic of a minority group. As such, minority status does not necessarily correlate to population. In some cases one or more so-called minority groups may have a population many times the size of the dominating group, as was the case in South Africa under apartheid (c. 1950-91).

Learn more about minority with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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