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.

minor (n.)

early 14c., Menour, "a Franciscan," from Latin Fratres Minores "lesser brethren," name chosen by the order's founder, St. Francis, for the sake of humility; see minor (adj.). From c. 1400 as "minor premise of a syllogism." From 1610s as "person of either sex who is under legal age for the performance of certain acts" (Latin used minores (plural) for "the young"). Musical sense is from 1797 (see the adjective). Academic meaning "secondary subject of study, subject of study with fewer credits than a major" is from 1890; as a verb in this sense by 1905.

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Definitions of minor
minor (adj.)
of the younger of two boys with the same family name;
Jones minor
minor (adj.)
of lesser importance or stature or rank;
a minor official
had a minor part in the play
many of these hardy adventurers were minor noblemen
a minor poet
minor back roads
minor (adj.)
lesser in scope or effect;
a minor disturbance
had minor differences
minor (adj.)
inferior in number or size or amount;
a minor share of the profits
minor (adj.)
(of a scale or mode) having half steps between the second and third degrees, and (usually) the fifth and sixth degrees, and the seventh and eighth degrees;
in B flat minor
the minor keys
minor (adj.)
not of legal age;
minor children
Synonyms: nonaged / underage
minor (adj.)
of lesser seriousness or danger;
suffered only minor injuries
some minor flooding
a minor tropical disturbance
minor (adj.)
of your secondary field of academic concentration or specialization;
minor (adj.)
warranting only temporal punishment;
Synonyms: venial
minor (adj.)
relatively moderate, limited, or small;
Synonyms: modest / small / small-scale / pocket-size / pocket-sized
minor (v.)
have as one's secondary field of study;
in collee she minored in mathematics
minor (n.)
a young person of either sex;
Synonyms: child / kid / youngster / shaver / nipper / small fry / tiddler / tike / tyke / fry / nestling