Meaning of “minority” in the English Dictionary

"minority" in British English

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uk /maɪˈnɒr.ə.ti/ us /maɪˈnɔːr.ə.t̬i/

minority noun (SMALL PART)

B2 [ S ] a smaller number or part:

It's only a tiny minority of people who are causing the problem.
Children with single parents at my school were very much in the minority (= there were very few).
This section of the bookstore caters for minority interests (= subjects that interest only a few people).

More examples

  • Because the two main parties have won almost the same number of votes, the minority group holds the key to the result.
  • The fact that a party can be voted into power by a minority of the electorate calls into question the country's electoral system.
  • It's a minority of these people who are causing trouble.
  • Those who want violence are in the minority.
  • In a minority of cases, a prison sentence is appropriate.

minority noun (PEOPLE)

C1 [ C ] any small group in society that is different from the rest because of their race, religion, or political beliefs, or a person who belongs to such a group:

ethnic/religious minorities
The plan was designed to help women and minorities overcome discrimination in the workplace.

More examples

  • Government by majority rule can be a threat to minority rights.
  • Human rights activists have accused the country's government of a systematic perpetration of violence against minority groups.
  • Outraged minority groups will not be placated by promises of future improvements.
  • They are members of a racial minority.
  • What are the prospects for overcoming the strife between the Christian minority and Muslim majority?

(Definition of “minority” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"minority" in American English

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minoritynoun [ C/U ]

us /məˈnɔr·ɪ·t̬i, mɑɪ-, -ˈnɑr-/

minority noun [ C/U ] (SMALLER AMOUNT)

less than half of a total number or amount; the smaller part of something:

[ U ] Only a minority of people support military action.
[ U ] Traditional families are in the minority in this neighborhood (= there are not many).

minoritynoun [ C ]

us /məˈnɔr·ɪ·t̬i (ˌɡrup), mɑɪ-, -ˈnɑr-/ also minority group

minority noun [ C ] (PEOPLE)

social studies a group of people who share some characteristic by birth that makes their group smaller than some other groups in a society and may cause others to treat them unfairly:

He argued that African Americans and other minorities were not getting a fair deal in sports and elsewhere in society.

(Definition of “minority” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"minority" in Business English

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uk /maɪˈnɒrəti/ us /məˈnɒrəti/ plural minorities

[ S ] a small number of the people or things in a group:

Only a small/tiny minority of customers have complained about the changes.
be in a/the minority I don't like the design, but I'm in the minority – most people say they love it.

[ C ] a group of people in a country or area who are of a different race, or have a different culture or religion to that of most other people there:

ethnic/racial minority We want to end discrimination against women and racial minorities.
minority community/employee/group British Asians are the largest minority group among UK staff.

minorityadjective [ before noun ]

uk /maɪˈnɒrəti/ us /məˈnɒrəti/

FINANCE, STOCK MARKET used to refer to the situation when a person or organization owns fewer shares in a company than other shareholders, and not enough to be in control of the company:

Many minority shareholders are local people.
He may be close to selling his minority stake in the company.

(Definition of “minority” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)