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majority

[muh-jawr-i-tee, -jor-] /məˈdʒɔr ɪ ti, -ˈdʒɒr-/
noun, plural majorities.
1.
the greater part or number; the number larger than half the total (opposed to minority):
the majority of the population.
2.
a number of voters or votes, jurors, or others in agreement, constituting more than half of the total number.
3.
the amount by which the greater number, as of votes, surpasses the remainder (distinguished from plurality).
4.
the party or faction with the majority vote:
The Democratic Party is the majority.
5.
the state or time of being of full legal age:
to attain one's majority.
6.
the military rank or office of a major.
Idioms
7.
join the (great) majority, to die.
Origin
1545-1555
1545-55; < Medieval Latin majōritās. See major, -ity
Related forms
nonmajority, noun, plural nonmajorities.
Can be confused
majority, plurality (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
3. 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for join majority

majority

/məˈdʒɒrɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
the greater number or part of something: the majority of the constituents
2.
(in an election) the number of votes or seats by which the strongest party or candidate beats the combined opposition or the runner-up See relative majority, absolute majority
3.
the largest party or group that votes together in a legislative or deliberative assembly
4.
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
5.
the rank, office, or commission of major
6.
(euphemistic) the dead (esp in the phrases join the majority, go or pass over to the majority)
7.
(obsolete) the quality or state of being greater; superiority
8.
(modifier) of, involving, or being a majority: a majority decision, a majority verdict
9.
in the majority, forming or part of the greater number of something
Usage note
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
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin mājoritās, from major (adj)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for join majority

majority

n.

1550s, "condition of being greater, superiority," from Middle French majorité (16c.), from Medieval Latin majoritatem (nominative majoritas) "majority," from Latin maior "greater" (see major (adj.)). Sense of "state of being of full age" is attested from 1560s; meaning "greater number or part" (of votes, etc.) first recorded 1690s. The majority "the dead" recorded from 1719.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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