Etymology
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minus (prep., adj., adv.)

late 15c., "with subtraction of," from Latin minus "less," neuter of minor "smaller" (from PIE *mi-nu-, suffixed form of root *mei- (2) "small").

According to OED, this mathematical prepositional use in expressions of calculation was not in the classical Latin word and probably is from North Sea medieval commercial usage of Latin plus and minus to indicate surplus or deficiency of weight or measure.

The origin and original signification of the "minus sign" is disputed. As "deprived of, not having," by 1813. Of temperature, etc., "below 0 or the lowest point of positive reckoning, belonging to the inverse or negative side," by 1811.

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minus (n.)

1650s, "the minus sign," from minus (prep.). From 1708 as "a negative quantity, a quantity subtracted."

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minuscule (n.)

1705, "small (not capital) letter," from French minuscule (17c.), from Latin minuscula, in minuscula littera "slightly smaller letter," fem. of minusculus "rather less, rather small," diminutive of minus "less" (from PIE root *mei- (2) "small"). It refers to the kind of reduced alphabetical character which arose 7c. and was from about 9c. substituted in writing for the large uncial. From it the small or lower-case letters of the modern Latin alphabet were derived.

As an adjective, from 1727 in printing, "not capital, of reduced form, small" (of letters); the general sense of "extremely small" is attested by 1893. Related: Minuscular.

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saving (prep., conj.)

"except for; but for; minus," also "with due respect or consideration for" (one's honor, etc.), late 14c.; see save (prep.).

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plus (n., adj.)

1570s, the oral rendering of the arithmetical sign +, also "more by a certain amount" (correlative to minus), from Latin plus "more, in greater number, more often" (comparative of multus "much"), altered (by influence of minus) from *pleos, from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill" (see poly-).  The plus sign itself has been well-known at least since late 15c. and is perhaps an abbreviation of Latin et (see et cetera).

As a preposition, between two numbers to indicate addition, from 1660s. [Barnhart writes that this sense "did not exist in Latin and probably originated in commercial language of the Middle Ages;" OED writes that "the words plus and minus were used by Leonardo of Pisa in 1202."] Placed after a whole number to indicate "and a little more," it is attested by 1902. As a conjunction, "and, and in addition," it is American English colloquial, attested by 1968. As a noun meaning "an advantage" from 1791. Plus fours "distinctive style of long, wide knickerbockers" (1921) were four inches longer in the leg than standard knickerbockers, to produce an overhang, originally a style associated with golfers.

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coupe (n.)

1834, "low, short, four-wheeled, close carriage without the front seat, carrying two inside, with an outside seat for the driver," also "front compartment of a stage coach," from French coupe (18c.), short for carrosse coupe "cut-off carriage," a shorter version of the Berlin, minus the back seat, from couper "to cut (in half);" see coup. Applied to closed two-door automobiles by 1897. Coup de ville is from 1931, originally a car with an open driver's position and an enclosed passenger compartment.

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labia (n.)
in anatomy and zoology, "lips or lip-like parts," a Modern Latin use of Latin labia "lips," plural of labium "lip" (see lip (n.)). Specifically as "the folds on either side of the vulva" (labia pudendi) from 1630s; further classified as labia majora (the outer folds, 1813; the singular is labium majus) and labia minora (inner folds, 1781; the singular is labium minus). The lips of the mouth are labium superior (upper) and labium inferiore (lower).
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menu (n.)

1837, "detailed list of dishes to be served at a banquet or meal," from French menu de repas "list of what is served at a meal," from French menu (adj.) "small, detailed" (11c.), from Latin minutus "small," literally "made smaller," past participle of minuere "to diminish," from root of minus "to diminish" (from PIE root *mei- (2) "small"). Computer sense of "list of options displayed on a screen" is by 1967, from the expanded sense of "any detailed list," which is attested by 1889.

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minor (adj.)

early 13c., in frere menour "Franciscan friar," literally "minor friar," from Latin minor "less, lesser, smaller, junior," figuratively "inferior, less important," which was formed as a masculine/feminine form of minus on the mistaken assumption that minus was a neuter comparative, from PIE root *mei- (2) "small." Compare minor (n.). In some cases the English word is from Old French menor "less, smaller, lower; underage, younger," from Latin minor.

Meaning "underage" is from 1570s. Meaning "lesser or smaller (than the other)" in English is from early 15c.; that of "comparatively less important" is from 1620s. The musical sense is from 1690s in reference to intervals (and to tonalities and scales characterized by a minor third), so called because the interval is lesser or shorter than the corresponding major interval. Of triads or chords by 1797; their emotional effect is notable mournful, mysterious, gloomy, or wistful, hence figurative and extended senses. In the baseball sense, minor league, made up of teams below the major league, is from 1884; the figurative extension of that is recorded by 1926.

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minister (n.)
Origin and meaning of minister

c. 1300, "man consecrated to service in the Christian Church, an ecclesiastic;" also "an agent acting for a superior, one who acts upon the authority of another," from Old French menistre "servant, valet, member of a household staff, administrator, musician, minstrel" (12c.) and directly from Latin minister (genitive ministri) "inferior, servant, priest's assistant" (in Medieval Latin, "priest"), from minus, minor "less," hence "subordinate" (from PIE root *mei- (2) "small") + comparative suffix *-teros. Formed on the model of magister (see master (n.)).

Minister views a man as serving a church; pastor views him as caring for a church as a shepherd cares for sheep; clergyman views him as belonging to a certain class; divine is properly one learned in theology, a theologian; parson, formerly a respectful designation, is now little better than a jocular name for a clergyman; priest regards a man as appointed to offer sacrifice. [Century Dictionary, 1895]

The political sense of "high officer of the state, person appointed by a sovereign or chief magistrate of a country as the responsible head of a department of the government" is attested from 1620s, from notion of "one who renders official service service to the crown." From 1709 as "a diplomatic representative of a country abroad." A minister without portfolio (1841, in a French context) has cabinet status but is not in charge of a specific department.

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