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 (mə-nôr′ĭ-tē, -nŏr′-, mī-)
n. pl. mi·nor·i·ties
a. The smaller in number of two groups forming a whole.
b. A group or party having fewer than a controlling number of votes.
a. A racial, religious, political, national, or other group thought to be different from the larger group of which it is part.
b. A group having little power or representation relative to other groups within a society.
c. A member of one of these groups. See Usage Note at color.
3. Law The state or period of being younger than the age for legal adulthood: still in her minority.

[French minorité, from Medieval Latin minōritās, from Latin minor, smaller; see minor.]
Usage Note: Socially speaking, a minority is an ethnic, racial, religious, or other group having a distinctive presence within a larger society. Some people object to this term as negative or dismissive, and it should be avoided in contexts where a group's status with regard to the majority population is irrelevant. Thus we would normally say a poem celebrating the diversity of cultures (not minorities) in America, where the emphasis is cultural as opposed to statistical or political. But in the appropriate context, as when discussing a group from a social or demographic point of view, minority is a useful term that need not be avoided as offensive. · A different problem arises when minority is used to refer to an individual rather than a group, as in the sentence As a minority, I am particularly sensitive to the need for fair hiring practices. In our 2011 survey, 58 percent of the Usage Panel found this example unacceptable. However, when the word was used in the plural without a numeral or a quantifier like many or some—as in The firm announced plans to hire more minorities and women—the Panelists were more approving, with only 25 percent judging an example such as this one unacceptable The discrepancy in these opinions can be explained by the fact that in this type of plural usage, the word is understood as referring to the members of a group taken collectively rather than as individuals.


(maɪˈnɒrɪtɪ; mɪ-)
n, pl -ties
1. the smaller in number of two parts, factions, or groups
2. (Sociology) a group that is different racially, politically, etc, from a larger group of which it is a part
a. the state of being a minor
b. 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.
[C16: from Medieval Latin minōritās, from Latin minor]


(mɪˈnɔr ɪ ti, -ˈnɒr-, maɪ-)

n., pl. -ties,
adj. n.
1. the smaller part or number; a number, part, or amount forming less than half of the whole.
2. a smaller group opposed to a majority.
3. Also called minor′ity group`. a group differing, esp. in race, religion, or ethnic background, from the majority of a population.
4. a member of such a group.
5. the state or period of being under full legal age.
6. of or pertaining to a minority.
[1525–35; < Medieval Latin minōritās. See minor, -ity]


If something is true of a minority of the people or things in a group, it is true of less than half of the whole group.

Only a minority of cable and satellite viewers are shocked by what they see on television.

You can talk about a small minority (for example 8%) or a large minority (for example 40%).

Only a small minority of children get a chance to benefit from the system.
The incomes of a large minority of tenants are inadequate to enable them to pay their rents.

When a minority is not followed by 'of', you can use either a plural or singular form of a verb after it. The plural form is more common.

Only a minority were active in pursuing their beliefs.

When you use a minority of followed by a plural noun, you must use a plural form of a verb after it.

Only a minority of people ever become actively engaged on any issue.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.minority - a group of people who differ racially or politically from a larger group of which it is a part
social group - people sharing some social relation
2.minority - being or relating to the smaller in number of two partsminority - being or relating to the smaller in number of two parts; "when the vote was taken they were in the minority"; "he held a minority position"
number, figure - the property possessed by a sum or total or indefinite quantity of units or individuals; "he had a number of chores to do"; "the number of parameters is small"; "the figure was about a thousand"
bulk, majority - the property resulting from being or relating to the greater in number of two parts; the main part; "the majority of his customers prefer it"; "the bulk of the work is finished"
3.minority - any age prior to the legal ageminority - any age prior to the legal age  
legal status - a status defined by law
eld, age - a time of life (usually defined in years) at which some particular qualification or power arises; "she was now of school age"; "tall for his eld"
legal age, majority - the age at which persons are considered competent to manage their own affairs


The state or period of being under legal age:
Law: infancy.
minnihluti; minnihlutahópur
thiểu số


A. N
1. (= small number) → minoría f
only a small minority of children contract the diseasesólo una pequeña minoría de niños contraen la enfermedad
to be in a or the minorityser minoría, estar en minoría
you're in a minority of one, there! (hum) → ¡te has quedado más sólo que la una!
2. (= community) → minoría f
ethnic minorityminoría f étnica
3. (Jur) (= age) → minoría f de edad
1. [group, interest, view, government] → minoritario
minority languagelengua f minoritaria
minority rights (Pol) → derechos mpl de las minorías
2. (Fin) minority interest; minority stakeparticipación f minoritaria
minority shareholderaccionista mf minoritario
minority shareholdingaccionado m minoritario
3. (US) (Pol) Minority Leaderlíder mf de la oposición
House Minority Leaderlíder mf de la oposición del Congreso
Senate Minority Leaderlíder mf de la oposición del Senado

Singular or plural verb?
When minoría is the subject of a verb, the verb can be in the singular or the plural, depending on the context:
 Put the verb in the singular if minority is seen as a unit rather than a collection of individuals:
A minority should always be respected, however small it may be Una minoría, aunque sea pequeña, debe ser respetada siempre
 If la minoría is seen as a collection of individuals, particularly when it is followed by de + ((PLURAL NOUN)), the plural form of the verb is more common than the singular, though both are possible:
...a minority of agitators want to introduce anarchy ...una minoría de agitadores quieren or quiere traer la anarquía
 The plural form must be used when la minoría or la minoría de + ((PLURAL NOUN)) is followed by ser or estar + ((plural complement)):
Only a minority of the demonstrators were students Sólo una minoría de los manifestantes eran estudiantes


[total number] → minorité f
to be in a minority → être en minorité
to be in the minority → être dans la minorité
a small minority of → une petite minorité de
(= group) → minorité f
the region's ethnic minorities → les minorités ethniques de la région minorities
(= minority groups) → minorités fpl
(= members of minority groups) → minorités fpl
women and minorities → les femmes et les minoritésminority group nminorité f


Minderheit f, → Minorität f; to be in a or the minorityin der Minderheit sein; the reforms will affect only a small minority of the populationdie Reformen werden sich nur auf eine kleine Minderheit in der Bevölkerung auswirken; you are in a minority of oneSie stehen allein da
(Jur) → Minderjährigkeit f
adj attr
Minderheits-; minority groupMinderheit f, → Minorität f; minority communityMinderheit f; (ethnic) minority studentsStudenten pl, → die einer (ethnischen) Minderheit angehören; minority opinionMinderheitsmeinung f; a minority viewdie Ansicht einer Minderheit; minority rights (Pol) → Minderheitenrechte pl; minority programme (Brit) or program (US) (Rad/TV) → Programm, das nur einen kleinen Hörerkreis/Zuschauerkreis anspricht
(US Pol: = opposition) House/Senate Minority LeaderOppositionsführer(in) m(f) (im Repräsentantenhaus/Senat)


minority government
minority holding, minority interest
n (Fin) → Minderheitsbeteiligung f
minority shareholder
n (Fin) → Kleinaktionär(in) m(f)


1. nminoranza
to be in a minority → essere in minoranza
2. adj (verdict) → minoritario/a; (government) → di minoranza


(ˈmainə) adjective
1. less, or little, in importance, size etc. Always halt when driving from a minor road on to a major road; She has to go into hospital for a minor operation.
2. (American) a secondary subject that a student chooses to study at university or college. Her major is in physics, but she has a minor in computer science.
(American) to study something as a minor subject. He is minoring in French.
a person who is not yet legally an adult.
miˈnority (miˈno-) , (mӕiˈno-) noun
a small number; less than half. Only a minority of people live in the countryside; a racial/political minority.
be in the minority
to be in the smaller of two groups. Women were in the minority at the meeting.


أقَلِيَّةٌ menšina minoritet Minderheit μειονότητα minoría vähemmistö minorité manjina minoranza 少数派 소수 minderheid minoritet mniejszość minoria меньшинство minoritet คนกลุ่มน้อย azınlık thiểu số 少数


n. minoría, minoridad.
References in classic literature ?
It was generally attributed to differences between himself and his partners on the question of further outlay of their earnings on mining improvements--he and Philip Carr alone representing a sanguine minority whose faith in the future of the mine accepted any risks.
Also the artist's audience of the present was a small minority of people, all debased and vulgarized by the effort it had cost them to win in the commercial battle, of the intellectual and artistic activities which would result when the whole of mankind was set free from the nightmare of competition, we could at present form no conception whatever.
After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest.
And yet, by ingenious contrivance, this gilded minority, in- stead of being in the tail of the procession where it be- longed, was marching head up and banners flying, at the other end of it; had elected itself to be the Nation, and these innumerable clams had permitted it so long that they had come at last to accept it as a truth; and not only that, but to believe it right and as it should be.
But I am quite in the minority, I believe; few people seem to value simplicity of dress,show and finery are every thing.
Defarge, a weak minority, interposed a few words for the memory of the compassionate wife of the Marquis; but only elicited from his own wife a repetition of her last reply.
A small minority shook their heads, and intimated their opinion that it was not a robbery to have much light thrown on it by tinder-boxes, that Master Marner's tale had a queer look with it, and that such things had been known as a man's doing himself a mischief, and then setting the justice to look for the doer.
If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written Constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution--certainly would if such a right were a vital one.
It may happen that this majority of States is a small minority of the people of America;[3] and two thirds of the people of America could not long be persuaded, upon the credit of artificial distinctions and syllogistic subtleties, to submit their interests to the management and disposal of one third.
By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.
The condition of the unsuccessful minority is truly pitiable.
A prince does not spend much on colonies, for with little or no expense he can send them out and keep them there, and he offends a minority only of the citizens from whom he takes lands and houses to give them to the new inhabitants; and those whom he offends, remaining poor and scattered, are never able to injure him; whilst the rest being uninjured are easily kept quiet, and at the same time are anxious not to err for fear it should happen to them as it has to those who have been despoiled.

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