preponderance

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See also: prépondérance

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From preponderant +‎ -ance (suffix forming nouns indicating a condition or state); preponderant is derived from Latin praeponderāns, the present active participle, or praeponderant, the third-person plural present active indicative, of praeponderō (to give more influence or weight to, preponderate),[1] from prae- (prefix meaning ‘before; in front’) + ponderō (to weigh; to ponder, reflect on, weigh up) (from pondus (weight; a pound; consequence, importance), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)pend- (to stretch)).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /pɹɪˈpɒndəɹəns/, /pɹɪˈpɒndɹəns/
  • (file)
  • (General American) IPA(key): /pɹəˈpɑndəɹəns/, /pɹəˈpɑndɹəns/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: pre‧pon‧der‧ance

Noun[edit]

preponderance (countable and uncountable, plural preponderances)

  1. (obsolete) Greater physical weight.
    Synonym: (obsolete) preponderancy
    1. (specifically, weaponry, historical) The excess of weight of that part of a cannon behind the trunnions over that in front of them.
  2. Superiority in amount or number; the bulk or majority; also, a large amount or number; an abundance, a profusion.
    Synonym: (obsolete) preponderancy
    • 1857, R[obert] Harries Jones, “Part the Second”, in The Japhetic Races. A Historical and Ethnological Inquiry into the Consanguinity of Various European Races. [], Göttingen: Printed at the University Press by W. Fr. Kaestner, OCLC 1013331293, section II, page 36:
      [S]trong proofs are at hand to shew, that in the Irish people there is a large admixture, if not an overwhelming praeponderance, of Iberian elements.
    • 1997 August 17, Patricia Holt, “Just add sand; trash fiction for end-of-the summer beach reading”, in San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, Calif.: Hearst Communications, ISSN 1932-8672, OCLC 5697914, page 1:
      Is there a preponderance of female protagonists in commercial fiction, and if so, what does it mean?
    • 2000 April 17, Paul Van Slambrouck, “California’s brightest star is, well, gray”, in The Christian Science Monitor[1], Boston, Mass.: Christian Science Publishing Society, ISSN 0882-7729, OCLC 705641703:
      Subtle, institutional discrimination was evident in the preponderance of blacks and underprivileged whites fighting the war.
  3. Superiority of influence, power, a quality, etc.; an outweighing, predominance, pre-eminence.
    Synonyms: (obsolete) preponderancy, preponderation

Alternative forms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ preponderance, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2021; “preponderance, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

Further reading[edit]