ma|jor|i|ty [məˈdʒɔrıti US məˈdʒo:-, məˈdʒa:-] n plural majorities
1¦(most people or things)¦
2¦(most votes)¦
3 majority vote/decision/verdict etc
4 majority stake/shareholding etc
5¦(becoming an adult)¦
[Date: 1500-1600; : French; Origin: majorité, from Latin major; MAJOR1]
1.) ¦(MOST PEOPLE OR THINGS)¦ [singular also + plural verb British English]
most of the people or things in a group
≠ ↑minority majority of
The majority of students find it quite hard to live on the amount of money they get.
great/vast/overwhelming majority of sth
(=almost all of a group)
In the vast majority of cases the disease is fatal.
be in the majority
(=form the largest group)
In this city, Muslims are in the majority.
2.) ¦(MOST VOTES)¦
if one person or group wins a majority in an election, they win more votes than other people or groups
majority of 50/100 etc
He won by a majority of 500.
The Labour Party won a huge majority at the last general election.
clear/overall/absolute majority
(=a situation in which one party wins more votes in an election than all the other parties)
The party won an absolute majority in Portugal in 1987.
small/narrow majority
The government gained only a narrow majority, with 151 votes against 144.
Labour/Conservative etc majority
The Labour majority was reduced to just 15 seats at the last election.
3.) majority vote/decision/verdict etc
a vote or decision in which more people vote for something than vote against it
The committee usually takes decisions by majority vote.
The jury found him guilty by a majority verdict.
4.) majority stake/shareholding etc
when one person or group owns a bigger share of a company than other people or groups and so is able to control what happens to the company
Alex Golding held a majority shareholding in Golding plc.
BrE law the age when someone legally becomes an adult
≠ ↑minority
reach majority/the age of majority
He became a partner in the family firm on reaching his majority.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • majority — We are concerned here with three related uses, two of them relatively straightforward and one that gives rise to a difficulty: 1. majority = ‘a superiority in numbers’, especially in political contexts, ‘the amount by which a winning vote exceeds …   Modern English usage

  • majority — ma·jor·i·ty /mə jȯr ə tē/ n pl ties 1 a: legal age b: the status of one who has reached legal age 2 a: a number or quantity greater than half of a total compare plu …   Law dictionary

  • Majority — • The state of a person or thing greater, or superior, in relation to another person or thing Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Majority     Majority      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Majority — Ma*jor i*ty, n.; pl. {Majorities}. [F. majorit[ e]. See {Major}.] 1. The quality or condition of being major or greater; superiority. Specifically: (a) The military rank of a major. (b) The condition of being of full age, or authorized by law to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • majority — majority, plurality are arbitrarily defined in the United States, especially by statute, when they refer to an excess of votes as determining an election. Both imply an excess of votes over the next highest candidate. The distinction between the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • majority — ► NOUN (pl. majorities) 1) the greater number. 2) Brit. the number by which the votes cast for one party or candidate exceed those for the next. 3) the age when a person is legally considered a full adult, usually 18 or 21. USAGE Strictly… …   English terms dictionary

  • majority — (n.) 1550s, condition of being greater, superiority, from M.Fr. majorité (16c.), from M.L. majoritatem (nom. majoritas) majority, from L. maior greater (see MAJOR (Cf. major) (adj.)). Sense of state of being of full age is attested from 1560s;… …   Etymology dictionary

  • majority — [n1] plurality, most best part*, bulk, greater number, greater part, larger part, lion’s share*, mass, max*, more, more than half*, preponderance, superiority; concepts 766,829,835 Ant. minority, secondary majority [n2] adulthood age of consent,… …   New thesaurus

  • majority — [mə jôr′ə tē, məjär′ə tē] n. pl. majorities [Fr majorité < ML majoritas < L major: see MAJOR] 1. [also with pl. v.] the greater part or larger number; more than half of a total ☆ 2. the number by which the votes cast for the candidate, bill …   English World dictionary

  • Majority — This article is about the mathematical concept of majority. For other uses, see Majority (disambiguation). A majority is a subset of a group consisting of more than half of its members. This can be compared to a plurality, which is a subset… …   Wikipedia

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