Definition of majority in English:

majority

Line breaks: ma¦jor|ity
Pronunciation: /məˈdʒɒrɪti
 
/

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, major part, best/better part, main part, most, more than half; bulk, mass, weight, (main) body, preponderance, predominance, generality, lion's share; (the majority)(the) people, the masses, the silent majority
1.1British The number by which the votes cast for one party or candidate exceed those for the next: Labour retained the seat with a majority of 9,830
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.
1.2A 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.
1.3US The number by which votes for one candidate are more than those for all other candidates together.
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
2 [mass noun] The age at which a person is legally a full adult, usually either 18 or 21: kids get control of the money when they reach the age of majority
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
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

Strictly speaking, majority should be used with countable nouns to mean ‘the greater number’, as in the majority of cases. Use with uncountable nouns to mean ‘the greatest part’, as in I spent the majority of the day reading, is not considered good standard English, although it is common in informal contexts.

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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