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


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.
    • 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.
    By the time I reached my majority, I had already been around the world twice.
  4. (Britain) 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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Thomas Browne and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?), Vulgar Errors
      Of evil parents an evil generation, a posterity not unlike their majority; of mischievous progenitors, a venomous and destructive progeny.

Usage notes[edit]

  • 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" or "most of" instead of the "the majority of."



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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.