/muy"neuhr/, adj.
1. lesser, as in size, extent, or importance, or being or noting the lesser of two: a minor share.
2. not serious, important, etc.: a minor wound; a minor role.
3. having low rank, status, position, etc.: a minor official.
4. under the legal age of full responsibility.
5. Educ. of or pertaining to a field of study constituting a student's minor.
6. Music.
a. (of an interval) smaller by a chromatic half step than the corresponding major interval.
b. (of a chord) having a minor third between the root and the note next above it.
7. of or pertaining to the minority.
8. (cap.) (of two male students in an English public school who have the same surname) being the younger or lower in standing: Jackson Minor sits over here.
9. a person under the legal age of full responsibility.
10. a person of inferior rank or importance in a specified group, class, etc.
11. Educ.
a. a subject or a course of study pursued by a student, esp. a candidate for a degree, subordinately or supplementarily to a major or principal subject or course.
b. a subject for which less credit than a major is granted in college or, occasionally, in high school.
12. Music. a minor interval, chord, scale, etc.
13. Math. the determinant of the matrix formed by crossing out the row and column containing a given element in a matrix.
14. (cap.) See Friar Minor.
15. the minors, Sports. the minor leagues.
16. to choose or study as a secondary academic subject or course: to major in sociology and minor in art history.
[1250-1300; ME < L: smaller, less; akin to OE min small, ON minni smaller, Goth minniza younger, Skt minati (he) diminishes, destroys]
Syn. 1. smaller, inferior, secondary, subordinate. 3. petty, unimportant, small. 9. child, adolescent.
Ant. 1. major.

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also called  Infant,  

      person below the legal age of majority or adulthood. The age of majority varies in different countries, and even in different jurisdictions within a country. It also differs with the type of activity concerned, such as marrying, purchasing alcohol, or driving an automobile. Twenty-one years is a common division between minors and adults.

      The concept of minority rests on the assumption that children are incapable of self-management. A minor also has special protection against strangers and irresponsible parents. A minor in most countries can acquire property but cannot sell it; and his acquisitions are controlled by his parents, subject always to review by the courts for abuses.

      Similarly, minors—even if they misrepresent their age—cannot be bound to contracts (contract) they sign; these are said to be voidable but not void. Thus, if a minor contracts to buy a car, he can cancel the contract before the actual exchange of the car for the money. The contract is said to be voidable at his discretion.

      Minors are, however, liable for harm they cause others—e.g., injuries to another child. Formerly, minors who committed crimes (crime) were held liable as if they were adults. In the 20th century this practice changed. Although minors were still disciplined for crimes, the emphasis was increasingly placed on rehabilitation, not punishment (see juvenile court).

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Universalium. 2010.

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