Definition of majority in English:

majority

Syllabification: ma·jor·i·ty
Pronunciation: /məˈjôrətē, -ˈjär-
 
 
/

noun (plural majorities)

1The greater number: in the majority of cases all will go smoothly [as modifier]: it was a majority decision
More example sentences
  • Should I really just accept decisions of the majority of the town council, and not speak out if I believe them to be wrong?
  • I totally agree with the thought that he is mistaken in the majority of his decisions, don't you?
  • Medieval agriculture was undertaken by peasants who of course constituted the overwhelming majority of the total population.
Synonyms
larger part/number, greater part/number, best/better part, most, more than half; plurality, bulk, mass, weight, (main) body, preponderance, predominance, generality, lion's share
1.1US The number by which votes for one candidate in an election are more than those for all other candidates combined.
More example sentences
  • Without this shift, Kerry would have had a popular majority of a million votes.
Synonyms
(winning) margin, superiority of numbers/votes; landslide
1.2British The number by which the votes for one party or candidate exceed those of the next in rank.
More example sentences
  • At the last general election in 2001 he had a majority of 4,275 votes over the Conservative candidate.
  • He currently has a majority of 4,922 votes - surely enough to defeat the Conservative in second place.
  • In this example, the clear winner is candidate A with a majority over Candidate B of 5,000.
1.3A party or group receiving the greater number of votes.
More example sentences
  • McKibbin is right, however, to point out that massive Parliamentary majorities emasculate political parties and their ideologies.
  • In last June's general elections, the party lost its parliamentary majority.
  • Following a number of defections from other parties, Thai Rak Thai commanded an absolute majority in parliament.
2The age when a person is legally considered a full adult, in most contexts either 18 or 21.
More example sentences
  • David was not convicted of a criminal offence after the age of majority.
  • As each beneficiary reaches the age of majority, the rule in Saunders and Vautier may apply.
  • That injunction was of unlimited duration, although it would inevitably end when the ward reached the age of majority.
Synonyms
legal age, adulthood, manhood/womanhood, maturity; age of consent, coming of age
3The rank or office of a major.
More example sentences
  • In 1872 Captain Macfarlane was promoted to majority.

Origin

mid 16th century (denoting superiority): from French majorité, from medieval Latin majoritas, from Latin major (see major).

Usage

1 Strictly speaking, majority should be used with countable nouns to mean ‘the greater number’: the majority of cases. The use of majority with uncountable nouns to mean ‘the greatest part’ ( I spent the majority of the day reading), although common in informal contexts, is not considered good standard English. 2 Majority means more than half: fifty-one out of a hundred is a majority. A plurality is the largest number among three or more. Consider the following scenarios: If Anne received 50 votes, Barry received 30, and Carlos received 20, then Anne received a plurality, and no candidate won a majority. If Anne got 35 votes, Barry 14, and Carlos 51, then Carlos won both the plurality and the majority.

Phrases

be in the majority

Belong to or constitute the larger group or number: publishing houses where women are in the majority
More example sentences
  • You know as youths, we do not like being in the majority and yet dominated by those in the minority.
  • This is more a function of the corrupting affect of being in the majority, I think, than of which ideology is dominant.
  • Students I interviewed who attended southern schools said that right-of-center kids were in the majority and set the tone.

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Word of the day apposite
Pronunciation: ˈapəzɪt
adjective
apt in the circumstances or relation to something