follow Dictionary.com

Get our exclusive Word of the Day images!

minus

[mahy-nuh s] /ˈmaɪ nəs/
preposition
1.
less by the subtraction of; decreased by:
Ten minus six is four.
2.
lacking or without:
a book minus its title page.
adjective
3.
involving or noting subtraction.
4.
algebraically negative:
a minus quantity.
5.
less than; just below in quality:
to get a C minus on a test.
6.
Informal. having negative qualities or characteristics; inferior.
7.
Mycology. (in heterothallic fungi) designating, in the absence of morphological differentiation, one of the two strains of mycelia that unite in the sexual process.
noun
9.
a minus quantity.
10.
a deficiency or loss.
11.
Informal. a person or thing with no apparent abilities, usefulness, etc.:
The last applicant was a definite minus.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English < Latin, neuter of minor less; see minor
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for minus
  • They should list both positive and negative impacts and write a plus or minus sign next to each one.
  • On the minus side, the extra fuel sometimes exploded on impact, turning the car into a fireball.
  • On the minus side is every other single thing about this show.
  • Here's our simplified version, broiled and minus the squash.
  • minus a few hot summer inversions, our air is clean.
  • Net national savings is total savings, both private and public, minus depreciation.
  • Theories abound for why students are graduating college minus some critical skills.
  • But as you might guess, the actual economic impact of snow storms is a lot more complicated than a minus sign.
  • Not a good night for the center as he is now minus-eight on the season.
  • If he cannot complete the agreement the payments are refunded, minus a service charge.
British Dictionary definitions for minus

minus

/ˈmaɪnəs/
preposition
1.
reduced by the subtraction of: four minus two (written 4 – 2)
2.
(informal) deprived of; lacking: minus the trimmings, that hat would be ordinary
adjective
3.
  1. indicating or involving subtraction: a minus sign
  2. Also negative. having a value or designating a quantity less than zero: a minus number
4.
on the negative part of a scale or coordinate axis: a value of minus 40°C
5.
involving a disadvantage, harm, etc: a minus factor
6.
(postpositive) (education) slightly below the standard of a particular grade: he received a B minus for his essay
7.
(botany) designating the strain of a fungus that can only undergo sexual reproduction with a plus strain
8.
denoting a negative electric charge
noun
9.
short for minus sign
10.
a negative quantity
11.
a disadvantage, loss, or deficit
12.
(informal) something detrimental or negative
Mathematical symbol
Word Origin
C15: from Latin, neuter of 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for minus
prep.

late 15c., "with subtraction of," from Latin minus "less," neuter of minor "smaller," from PIE *mi-nu-, suffixed form of root *mei- "small" (cf. Latin minuere "to diminish, reduce, lessen," Greek meion "less, smaller," Old English minsian "to diminish," Sanskrit miyate "diminishes, declines," Russian men'she "less").

Mathematical use in expressions of calculation did not exist in the word in classical Latin and is probably from North Sea medieval commercial usage of Latin plus and minus to indicate surplus or deficiency of weight or measure. Origin of the "minus sign" is disputed.

n.

1650s, from minus (prep.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for minus

minus

noun

A disadvantage: that degree is actually a minus for him (1708+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
minus in Technology


-
Common: dash; ITU-T: hyphen; ITU-T: minus. Rare: INTERCAL: worm; option; dak; bithorpe.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for minus

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for minus

7
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with minus

Nearby words for minus