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 plurality on Wikipedia



plural +‎ -ity, from Middle English pluralite, from Old French pluralité (multitude, state of being plural), from Latin plūrālitās.



plurality (countable and uncountable, plural pluralities)

  1. (uncountable) The state of being plural.
  2. (ecclesiastical) The holding of multiple benefices.
    • 1644, John Milton, Aeropagitica:
      It was the complaint and lamentation of Prelats, upon every least breath of a motion to remove pluralities, and distribute more equally Church revennu's, that then all learning would be for ever dasht and discourag'd.
  3. (countable) A state of being numerous.
  4. (countable) A number or part of a whole which is greater than any other number or part, but not necessarily a majority.
  5. (countable) A number of votes for a single candidate or position which is greater than the number of votes gained by any other single candidate or position voted for, but which is less than a majority of valid votes cast.
    • 1977 September 8, "Crime against clarity", editorial, Bangor Daily News, page 14 [1]:
      To repeal the tax (Question I), a 50 per cent majority vote is required. To keep the tax in its 1976 form (Question III), only a plurality of votes is required.
  6. (countable) A margin by which a number exceeds another number, especially of votes.
    • 1948 December 10, "President Race Ignored by 683,382 Voters", The Deseret News, page A-2 [2]:
      Truman's total vote was 24,104,836. Dewey received 21,969,500; [] . Truman won by a plurality of 2,135,336, but it was the first time since 1916 that a winner has failed to capture a majority of all votes cast.
  7. (countable) A group of many entities: a large number.
    A plurality of ideas were put forth at the meeting, most of which were rejected out of hand.
  8. (countable) A group composed of more than one entity.
    • 1989, United States Patent 5065364, abstract:
      The array is organized into a plurality of vertical (column) blocks.
  9. (of spouses) Polygamy.