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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
ma•jor•i•ty /məˈdʒɔrɪti, -ˈdʒɑr-/USA pronunciation
n., pl. -ties. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
- a number, part, or amount forming more than half of the whole or total:[countable]the majority of the population; She got a majority of the votes in the election.
- [uncountable] the amount by which the greater number, as of votes, exceeds the remainder.
- the state or time of being of full legal age:[uncountable]to attain one's majority.
- [uncountable] the military rank or office of a major.
(mə jôr′i tē, -jor′-),USA pronunciation n., pl. -ties.
- the greater part or number;
the number larger than half the total (opposed to minority):the majority of the population.
- Governmenta number of voters or votes, jurors, or others in agreement, constituting more than half of the total number.
- the amount by which the greater number, as of votes, surpasses the remainder (distinguished from plurality).
- Governmentthe party or faction with the majority vote:The Democratic party is the majority.
- the state or time of being of full legal age:to attain one's majority.
- Militarythe military rank or office of a major.
- Idiomsjoin the majority or the great majority, to die.
- Medieval Latin majōritās. See major, -ity
- 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Majority, plurality, in the context of an election, poll, or other voting situation resulting in a statistically based statement, both denote an amount or number larger than some other. In situations in which only two candidates, options, or positions are concerned, the terms are interchangeable, though majority is by far the more commonly used:She beat her opponent by a large majority. The proposal received a large plurality of "Yes'' votes.When three or more choices are available, however, a distinction is made between majority and plurality. A majority, then, consists of more than one-half of all the votes cast, while a plurality is merely the number of votes one candidate receives in excess of the votes for the candidate with the next largest number. Thus, in an election in which three candidates receive respectively 500, 300, and 200 votes, the first candidate has a plurality of 200 votes, but not a majority of all the votes cast. If the three candidates receive 600, 300, and 100 votes, the first has a majority of 100 votes (that is 100 votes more than one-half the total of 1000 cast) and a plurality of 300 votes over the nearest opponent.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
majority /məˈdʒɒrɪtɪ/ n ( pl -ties)
Etymology: 16th Century: from Medieval Latin mājoritās, from major (adj)USAGE
- the greater number or part of something
- (in an election) the number of votes or seats by which the strongest party or candidate beats the combined opposition or the runner-up
- the largest party or group that votes together in a legislative or deliberative assembly
- the time of reaching or state of having reached full legal age, when a person is held competent to manage his own affairs, exercise civil rights and duties, etc
- the rank, office, or commission of major
- euphemistic the dead (esp in the phrases join the majority, go or pass over to the majority)
- (modifier) of, involving, or being a majority: a majority decision, a majority verdict
- in the majority ⇒ forming or part of the greater number of something
The majority of can only refer to a number of things or people. When talking about an amount, most of should be used: most of (not the majority of) the harvest was saved
'majority' also found in these entries: