The word "minor" means small.

  • A flat tire is a minor problem. (It’s a small problem.)
  • The car sustained minor damage when it bumped into another car.
  • Susan’s role in the organization is minor.
  • Oscar is thrilled to have a minor part in an upcoming movie.
  • Minor characters in movies are usually not very memorable.
  • Even a minor amount of dust can cause the machine to malfunction (malfunction = break).
  • The man went to jail for a minor offense. (minor offense = a small crime)
  • My problems are minor compared to hers.

car on iceIce on the roads caused some minor traffic accidents this morning.

This word is also used when talking about children under the age of 18.

  • Minors aren’t allowed to buy certain products such as tobacco or alcohol.
  • The boy didn’t go to an adult prison because he was a minor when he committed the crime.
  • Penalties for abusing a minor are quite severe in most states.

Something that is major is often related to or compared to something that is minor.

  • Sarah has a major in economics and a minor in French. (minor = a relatively smaller concentration of college courses in one area)
  • C major sounds good when played with A minor.
  • Tony came up from the minor leagues to play baseball for a major league team.
  • The group went from being a minor threat to a major threat.

The word "minority" is a noun. A minority is a small group.

  • A minority of voters were in favor of the losing candidate.
  • Minority groups in the United States are protected by the justice system.
  • The Minority Leader in the U.S. Senate is Harry Reid.
  • Some people in the office felt that Vanessa got the job only because she’s a minority. (Sometimes the word "minority" is used to describe someone who is not white or caucasian. In this case, the word "minority may have a strong overtone.)
  • The company says that it’s committed to do more minority hiring.

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May 13, 2015