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plus or minus

1. Indicating a margin above and below a certain level. The margin of error is plus or minus three points, so we're still comfortable ahead of the national average. As the report is outside of the plus or minus 2 per cent tolerance threshold, the bank has decided not to go through with the deal.
2. Approximately; roughly; There were maybe 20 people there, plus or minus. You'll need plus or minus 2oo feet of cable if you want to reach the other side of the house.
3. With or without. Used especially in reference to medical treatments. Our current go-to treatment is a full course of chemotherapy, plus or minus an antiemetic depending on patient tolerance.
See also: minus, plus


more or less; roughly. South African
1992 Weekend Post He expected ‘plus-minus’ 1000 files would eventually be forwarded for ‘possible prosecution’.

plus or ˈminus

used when the number mentioned may actually be more or less by a particular amount: The margin of error was plus or minus three percentage points.
See also: minus, plus
References in periodicals archive ?
By religion, net agreement among Muslims on giving preferential treatment was very strong at +82 percent (86 percent agree minus 5 percent disagree, correctly rounded), while it was moderate among other Christians +17 percent (47 agree minus 30 percent disagree).
The net satisfaction rating of the Cabinet as a whole remained moderate but went down by one point, from +13 (41 percent satisfied minus 28 percent dissatisfied) in March to +12 (39 percent satisfied minus 27 percent dissatisfied) in the second quarter.
Across socioeconomic classes, the net gainers score jumped from 0 to plus 15 among classes ABC and from minus 24 to minus 5 among class E while it was up by two points from minus 13 to minus 11 among class D.
Looking at major firms' demand for loans according to industrial sector, the central bank said the DI reading for major manufacturers improved markedly to minus 5 in the July-September period from minus 24 in the previous period.
CBS: Clinton 56, Dole 35, Perot 5 (972 registered voters, plus or minus 3 points).
The selection of Minus K Technology by the prestigious Manoharan Laboratory is further validation that our Negative Stiffness technology uniquely solves some of the most difficult vibration problems known today, facilitating crucial advances in science and technology," said David Platus, President and Chief Executive Officer of Minus K Technology.
The indexes of wholesalers and retailers were almost unchanged at minus 52.
The survey found the BSI is expected to stand at minus 41 in the January-March period and minus 25 in the April-June quarter.
15, 2007 (the "2010 reference yield") and (ii) a fixed spread of 50 basis points minus (2) accrued and unpaid interest to but not including the expected Initial Optional Early Settlement Date (the consideration referred to in clause (1) minus (2), being referred to as the "Total Consideration" with respect to the 2010 Notes), minus (3) an amount equal to the consent payment referred to below.
The index for midsize firms, capitalized at between 100 million yen and 1 billion yen, fell to minus 30.
A minus reading indicates more companies felt they had excess workers than a labor shortage.
The diffusion index comparing business sentiment with a year earlier fell to minus 47.
Free cash flow (EBITDA minus increase in operating working capital minus capex minus cash tax minus cash interest) was $88 million in 2002, vs.
The diffusion index comparing the percentage of companies having optimistic views with that of pessimistic ones fell to minus 39.
Free cash flow (EBITDA minus increase in WC minus capex minus cash interest minus cash tax) has been growing since 1998.