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 plurality on Wikipedia



Middle English, 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.