Meaning of MINOR in English


I. ˈmīnə(r) noun

( -s )

Etymology: in sense 1, from Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Latin minor, adjective; in sense 2, from Late Latin, from Latin minor, adjective; in other senses, from minor (II)


a. : the premise in logic that contains the minor term:

(1) : the second proposition of a regular syllogism

(2) : the categorical premise in a hypothetical syllogism

b. : minor term


a. : a person of either sex under full age or majority : one who has not attained the age at which full civil rights are accorded : one who in England and generally in the United States is under 21 years of age — compare age I 1d(2), infant

b. : a person in Scots law who has exceeded the age of pupillarity by being over 14 if a boy or over 12 if a girl but who has not attained the majority age of 21 years

3. : a minor musical interval, scale, key, or mode

listened … to the pulsating sweet minors of the hymns — Irwin Shaw

4. or minor determinant : a mathematical determinant obtained by deleting the same number of rows and columns from the given determinant


a. : a minor academic course

b. : a minor academic subject

degree in history with a minor in school administration — Current Biography

6. : minor league — usually used in plural with the

an old pitcher retired to the minors — Vincent McHugh

7. : minor suit

II. adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin, smaller, less, inferior; akin to Old High German minniro smaller, Old Norse minni smaller, Gothic minniza least, younger, inferior, Latin minuere to lessen, Greek meiōn less, Sanskrit mināti he lessens


a. : inferior in importance : comparatively unimportant : lower in standing or reputation than others of the same kind

these hardy adventurers were minor noblemen — R.A.Billington

minor back roads which serve as bridle paths — American Guide Series: Massachusetts

a minor poet

b. : being the less important of two things

a minor canon

a minor piece in chess

2. : having the status of a legal minor not having reached the age of majority or full legal age

minor children follow the nationality of the parents — William Samore

3. archaic : being in or constituting a numerical minority

another person had the minor vote in the election — Thomas Hutchinson



(1) of a scale : having half steps between the second and third, fifth and sixth, and sometimes seventh and eighth degrees — see harmonic minor scale , melodic minor scale , natural minor scale

(2) of a key : based (as in harmonic relations) on such a scale — opposed to major; used after the name of a keynote

fugue in D minor

in the key of B minor

b. of an interval

(1) : less by a half step than the corresponding major interval : of a size equal to the distance between the keynote and a (specified) degree of the minor scale — used of the second, third, sixth, and seventh

(2) : less by a comma — used of one whole step in an untempered scale compared with another

D to E is a minor whole step, smaller by a comma than C to D

c. of a mode in measurable music : having the long divided into breves

5. : being the second in age or school standing of two or more boys with the same surname in an English public school

Smith minor

6. medicine : not serious or involving risk to life

a minor illness

a minor operation

— compare major

7. : of, relating to, or being a branch of the judiciary having jurisdiction limited to a specified local area and to cases usually involving matters of lesser importance

minor courts … deal with such cases as breaches of the traffic laws, petty theft, and minor domestic cases — Canadian Citizenship Series


a. : of, relating to, or being an academic course usually having fewer class hours than a major course

b. : of, relating to, or being an academic subject usually requiring fewer courses or hours than a major subject and given secondary emphasis in a student's schedule

his minor subjects for his M.A. were plant ecology and entomology — Current Biography

III. intransitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: minor (I)

: to take courses in a specified field of study as one's minor

will major in … literature and minor in theater work — Goucher Alumnae Quarterly

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.