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

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.

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.

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