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minor

[mahy-ner] /ˈmaɪ nər/
adjective
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.
3.
having low rank, status, position, etc.:
a minor official.
4.
under the legal age of full responsibility.
5.
Education. of or pertaining to a field of study constituting a student's minor.
6.
Music.
  1. (of an interval) smaller by a chromatic half step than the corresponding major interval.
  2. (of a chord) having a minor third between the root and the note next above it.
7.
of or pertaining to the minority.
8.
(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.
noun
9.
a person under the legal age of full responsibility.
10.
a person of inferior rank or importance in a specified group, class, etc.
11.
Education.
  1. 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.
  2. a subject for which less credit than a major is granted in college or, occasionally, in high school.
12.
Music. a minor interval, chord, scale, etc.
13.
Mathematics. the determinant of the matrix formed by crossing out the row and column containing a given element in a matrix.
14.
(initial capital letter) Friar Minor.
15.
the minors, Sports. the minor leagues.
verb (used without object)
16.
to choose or study as a secondary academic subject or course:
to major in sociology and minor in art history.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Latin: smaller, less; akin to Old English min small, Old Norse minni smaller, Gothic minniza younger, Sanskrit mīnāti (he) diminishes, destroys
Can be confused
miner, minor, myna.
Synonyms
1. smaller, inferior, secondary, subordinate. 3. petty, unimportant, small. 9. child, adolescent.
Antonyms
1. major.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for the minors

minor

/ˈmaɪnə/
adjective
1.
lesser or secondary in amount, extent, importance, or degree: a minor poet, minor burns
2.
of or relating to the minority
3.
below the age of legal majority
4.
(music)
  1. (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
  2. (of a key) based on the minor scale
  3. (postpositive) denoting a specified key based on the minor scale: C minor
  4. (of an interval) reduced by a semitone from the major
  5. (of a chord, esp a triad) having a minor third above the root
  6. (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
5.
(logic) (of a term or premise) having less generality or scope than another term or proposition
6.
(US, education) of or relating to an additional secondary subject taken by a student
7.
(immediately postpositive) (Brit) the younger or junior: sometimes used after the surname of a schoolboy if he has an older brother in the same school: Hunt minor
8.
(postpositive) (bell-ringing) of, relating to, or denoting a set of changes rung on six bells: grandsire minor
noun
9.
a person or thing that is lesser or secondary
10.
a person below the age of legal majority
11.
(US & Canadian, education) a subsidiary subject in which a college or university student needs fewer credits than in his or her major
12.
(music) a minor key, chord, mode, or scale
13.
(logic) a minor term or premise
14.
(maths)
  1. a determinant associated with a particular element of a given determinant and formed by removing the row and column containing that element
  2. Also called cofactor, signed minor. the number equal to this reduced determinant
15.
(capital) another name for Minorite
verb
16.
(US, education) (intransitive) usually foll by in. to take a minor
Compare major
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for the minors

minor

adj.

early 13c., menour "Franciscan" (see minor (n.)), from Latin minor "less, lesser, smaller, junior," figuratively "inferior, less important," formed as a masculine/feminine form of minus on the mistaken assumption that minus was a neuter comparative, from PIE root *mei- "small" (see minus).

Some English usages are via Old French menor "less, smaller, lower; underage, younger," from Latin minor. Meaning "underage" is from 1570s. Meaning "lesser" in English is from early 15c.; that of "less important" is from 1620s. The musical sense is from 1690s. In the baseball sense, minor league is from 1884; the figurative extension is first recorded 1926.

n.

early 14c., "a Franciscan," from Latin Fratres Minores "lesser brethren," name chosen by St. Francis, who founded the order, for the sake of humility; see minor (adj.). From c.1400 as "minor premise of a syllogism." From 1610s as "person under legal age" (Latin used minores (plural) for "the young"). Musical sense is from 1797. Meaning "secondary subject of study, subject of study with fewer credits than a major" is from 1890; as a verb in this sense from 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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the minors in Medicine

minor mi·nor (mī'nər)
adj.

  1. Lesser or smaller in amount, extent, or size.

  2. Lesser in seriousness or danger.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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