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The state or condition of a minor; infancy. Opposite of majority. The smaller number of votes of a deliberative assembly; opposed to majority. In context of the Constitution's guarantee of Equal Protection, minority does not have merely numerical denotation but refers to identifiable and specially disadvantaged groups such as those based on race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) in voting, a side with less than half the votes. 2) a term for people in a predominantly Caucasian country who are not Caucasian, including African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, indigenous Americans (Indians) and other people supposedly "of color," despite the irony that the majority of the world's population is not Caucasian. Sometimes the term is employed to include women and homosexuals. "Minority" carries with it a certain patronizing tone even when used to assert rights of peoples who have been discriminated against, either socially or by law. 3) The period of life under legal age. (See: majority, minor, legal age)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


a person not an adult of full capacity. See INFANT, PUPIL.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

MINORITY. The state or condition of a minor; infancy. In another sense, it signifies the lesser number of votes of a deliberative assembly; opposed to majority. (q.v.)

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
There are many policies and schemes passed by the Central Government for the benefit of minorities in India.
Javeed Piyara said that in the program Special Advisor to the Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Minorities Sardar Suren Singh will also participate.
In turn, they hope conferences may help women and minorities overcome some of the top problems small business owners face, such as bundling of contracts, which tie all subcontracts for a project into a single package and make it difficult for small business owners to bid.
Two of eight senior managers and three of 19 corporate officers are black, including Chief Marketing Officer Margaret Jenkins, who oversees a budget of $50 million and spends nearly $16 million on marketing to minorities.
During these four decades, a second generation of discrimination has emerged which serves to abridge or deny minorities their equal voting rights.
Minorities report that, by rigorously exploring how to succeed, IE demystifies graduate school More importantly, students note that IE provides an opportunity to contemplate in an entrepreneurial fashion how to utilize their intellectual capital to give back to the community.
In light of the dearth of research available on how sexual minorities negotiate homophobia in day-to-day interactions, it may be reasonable to refer to some aspects of Philomena Essed's work on "everyday racism." (8) Essed describes how a sample consisting primarily of well-educated black women in the United States and the Netherlands continuously assessed interactions as acceptable or not, and then evaluated unacceptable interactions to determine the likelihood that the bias was intentional and the degree of social significance.
Students from many black and Latino neighborhoods might lack motivation to aim for medical school, said Ukpo, president of Loyola's Student National Medical Association, a group of minority students that encourages underrepresented minorities to enter medical school.
It should be noted, however, that more than 1600 of the participants were in fact white, and that many of the questions used to determine social attitudes regarding minorities were rotated.
While deciphering the inarticulate musings of Chretien is always a challenge, it seems clear that he thinks the majority of the people in a democracy cannot be trusted to respect the legitimate rights of minorities. To illustrate this point, he opined: "The French language would have perhaps been banned in Canada for a long time if it had been a question of the majority deciding."
"There are federal [certifying] mandates for women and minorities," says Justin Nelson, the group's cofounder.