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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 in society distinguished from, and less dominant than, the more numerous majority:
The ethnic minority was disproportionately affected by the reduction in preventative medical services.
4.
a racial, ethnic, religious, or social subdivision of a society that is subordinate to the dominant group in political, financial, or social power without regard to the size of these groups:
legislation aimed at providing equal rights for minorities.
5.
a member of such a group.
6.
the state or period of being under the legal age of full responsibility.
adjective
7.
of or relating 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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British Dictionary definitions for prominority

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
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Word Origin and History for prominority

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 prominority

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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