Definition of majority in English:

majority

noun

  • 1The greater number.

    ‘in the majority of cases all will go smoothly’
    [as modifier] ‘it was a majority decision’
    • ‘Ultimately phone masts are here to stay as the majority don't want poor or patchy reception.’
    • ‘They constitute the great majority of the people.’
    • ‘Overwhelming majorities of Americans believe the federal government isn't doing enough to protect the environment.’
    • ‘How do you respond to this large silent majority of religious people who are being wedged out of the conversation?’
    • ‘The BCC's majority shareholder is the state, through the Ministry of Finance.’
    • ‘Should I really just accept decisions of the majority of the town council, and not speak out if I believe them to be wrong?’
    • ‘A survey of shoppers conducted at the same time showed a clear majority in favour of the development, however.’
    • ‘The draft constitution was voted yesterday by the overall majority of the Iraqi people.’
    • ‘Women are now a majority of students at America's colleges.’
    • ‘The majority of respondents had received their basic nursing education at the baccalaureate level.’
    • ‘The Austrian company wanted a majority stake, while Mobiltel offered a minority stake.’
    • ‘Christians still comprise the majority of Arab Americans nationally.’
    • ‘Medieval agriculture was undertaken by peasants who of course constituted the overwhelming majority of the total population.’
    • ‘I totally agree with the thought that he is mistaken in the majority of his decisions, don't you?’
    • ‘The monarchy has its roots in the tribal leadership among the country's Pashtun majority in the south.’
    • ‘Still, most human rights lawyers read the majority opinion as a major disappointment.’
    • ‘He recently, for the first time, became the club's majority shareholder.’
    • ‘The initiative was passed by a majority of voters in San Diego County.’
    • ‘But the latter will not be possible if a country's majority does not understand the language of government.’
    • ‘"Their proposals are a cynical, deceptive way to recreate some form of unionist majority rule.’
    larger number, larger part, greater number, greater part, major part, best part, better part, main part, most, more than half
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1US The number by which votes for one candidate in an election are more than those for all other candidates combined.
      • ‘Without this shift, Kerry would have had a popular majority of a million votes.’
    2. 1.2British The number by which the votes for one party or candidate exceed those of the next in rank.
      • ‘The constituency is currently a Tory seat with a majority of 11, 238 in the last election.’
      • ‘In the end, the most vicious electoral battle of 2005 was won with a majority of 823 votes.’
      • ‘He came in third with 3,680 votes, while Mr Pope won the seat with a majority of 8,219.’
      • ‘At the last general election in 2001 he had a majority of 4,275 votes over the Conservative candidate.’
      • ‘Mr Davey held his seat in Kingston and Surbiton with a reduced majority of 8,966 votes.’
      • ‘Griffin could do real damage to Ann Cryer's slender Labour majority of just 4,005.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3A party or group receiving the greater number of votes.
      • ‘The new premier must still form a government that commands a majority in the legislature or call new polls.’
      • ‘But does this have the fact of disqualifying the Labour majority from considering the planning application?’
      • ‘Chen has never commanded a majority in the legislature.’
      • ‘Just before Thanksgiving, Senate majority leader Tom Daschle ducked questions about the military tribunals.’
      • ‘Following a number of defections from other parties, Thai Rak Thai commanded an absolute majority in parliament.’
      • ‘Chuck Schumer rose to ask whether the Senate majority leader might yield for a question.’
      • ‘In last June's general elections, the party lost its parliamentary majority.’
      • ‘McKibbin is right, however, to point out that massive Parliamentary majorities emasculate political parties and their ideologies.’
  • 2The age when a person is legally considered a full adult, in most contexts either 18 or 21.

    adult
    • ‘The rights apply to all persons under 18 except in countries where the age of majority is lower.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Parent B agrees to support the Child financially until the age of majority.’
    • ‘If it is wrong to do it prior to majority, it is wrong to do it immediately after majority.’
    • ‘David was not convicted of a criminal offence after the age of majority.’
    • ‘Under Canadian criminal law, tobacco products and accessories require age of majority to be sold.’
    • ‘In four of those provinces, cyclists over the age of majority must also wear helmets.’
    • ‘One was blonde, one was brunette, and it was obvious neither of them were very much over the age of majority.’
    • ‘But, if he wants to change his name by deed poll, Batigol will have to wait until the age of majority.’
    • ‘Typically, these costs are only compensated until the child reaches the age of majority.’
    • ‘It has not been amended even though the age of majority has for many years been reduced to 18.’
    • ‘The maternal subsidy would vary in proportion to the number of their children under the age of majority.’
    • ‘Because she is below the age of majority she is not eligible for welfare.’
    coming of age, legal age, seniority, adulthood, manhood, womanhood, maturity
    View synonyms
  • 3The rank or office of a major.

    • ‘In 1872 Captain Macfarlane was promoted to majority.’

Usage

1 Strictly speaking, majority should be used with countable nouns to mean ‘the greater number’: the majority of cases. The use of majority with uncountable nouns to mean ‘the greatest part’ (I spent the majority of the day reading), although common in informal contexts, is not considered good standard English. 2Majority means more than half: fifty-one out of a hundred is a majority. A plurality is the largest number among three or more. Consider the following scenarios: If Anne received 50 votes, Barry received 30, and Carlos received 20, then Anne received a plurality, and no candidate won a majority. If Anne got 35 votes, Barry 14, and Carlos 51, then Carlos won both the plurality and the majority

Origin

Mid 16th century (denoting superiority): from French majorité, from medieval Latin majoritas, from Latin major (see major).

Pronunciation:

majority

/məˈjôrədē//məˈjärədē/