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in a minor key
Having a subtle, understated presentation or demeanor. An allusion to the musical key, the phrase is typically used to describe abstract concepts and characteristics. The film, which elegantly examines the very real struggles of everyday people in the modern age, is wise and human in a minor key.
minor in (something)
To complete a college or university degree with a particular subject as an official secondary focus. Originally I thought I would major in English literature, but I ended up minoring in it. Samantha majored in economics and minored in history.
A positive occurrence that was highly improbable. The kids all being dressed by 7 AM is a minor miracle. If we actually make it out the door on time, angels will start singing. It will be a minor miracle if the senators all agree on the terms of the legislation.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
minor in something
to study a secondary subject in college. (Compare this with major in something.) I minored in math in college. I decided to minor in history.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
in a minor key(especially of a literary work) understated.
1995 Independent He was a moralist in a minor key.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
To complete a long-term course of study in some subject that is one's secondary focus: My main course of study is biology, and I'm minoring in philosophy.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.