majority

EnglishEdit

 
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EtymologyEdit

From Middle French maiorité, from Medieval Latin māiōritātem, accusative of Latin māiōritās, from Latin māiōr (greater).

Morphologically major +‎ -ity

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

majority (countable and uncountable, plural majorities)

  1. More than half (50%) of some group.
    The majority agreed that the new proposal was the best.
    Those opposing the building plans were in the majority, so the building project was canceled.
    Antonym: minority
    Hyponyms: absolute majority, double majority, qualified majority, silent majority, simple majority, supermajority
    Coordinate term: plurality
    • 1803, Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution:
      The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.
    • 1920, Champ Clark, Democratic Achievement:
      But in 1912 the American people gave the Democrats another opportunity, and under the leadership of Woodrow Wilson we swept the country from sea to sea. At the end of that historic contest we had the Presidency, the Senate by a working majority, and the House by an overwhelming majority.
  2. The difference between the winning vote and the rest of the votes.
    The winner with 53% had a 6% majority over the loser with 47%.
  3. (dated) Legal adulthood, age of majority.
    By the time I reached my majority, I had already been around the world twice.
  4. (UK) The office held by a member of the armed forces in the rank of major.
    On receiving the news of his promotion, Charles Snodgrass said he was delighted to be entering his majority.
  5. Ancestors; ancestry.
    • 1650, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica: [], 2nd edition, London: [] A[braham] Miller, for Edw[ard] Dod and Nath[aniel] Ekins, [], OCLC 152706203:
      Of evil parents an evil generation, a posterity not unlike their majority; of mischievous progenitors, a venomous and destructive progeny.

Usage notesEdit

  • Majority in the sense of "more than half" is used with countable nouns only; for example, "The majority of the members of the committee were in favour of the motion." While common in colloquial speech, it is often considered incorrect to use majority with uncountable nouns, as in "The majority of the time was wasted." In the latter case, it is preferable to use expressions such as "the larger part of", "most of", or "the bulk of" instead of "the majority of."
  • Adjectives often used with "majority": vast, great, overwhelming, large, simple, absolute, clear, immense, good, small, numerical, considerable, parliamentary, constitutional, silent, bare, absolute
  • Nouns often modified by "majority": vote, opinion, leader, decision, view, party, group, report, verdict, support, status

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit