follow Dictionary.com

11 Trending Words of 2014

major

[mey-jer] /ˈmeɪ dʒər/
noun
1.
a commissioned military officer ranking next below a lieutenant colonel and next above a captain.
2.
one of superior rank, ability, etc., in a specified class.
3.
Education.
  1. a subject or field of study chosen by a student to represent his or her principal interest and upon which a large share of his or her efforts are concentrated:
    History was my major at college.
  2. a student engaged in such study.
4.
a person of full legal age (opposed to minor).
5.
Music. a major interval, chord, scale, etc.
6.
the majors.
  1. Sports. the major leagues:
    He coached in the majors as well as in the minors.
  2. the companies or organizations that lead or control a particular field of activity:
    the oil majors.
adjective
7.
greater in size, extent, or importance:
the major part of the town.
8.
great, as in rank or importance:
a major political issue; a major artist.
9.
serious or risky:
a major operation.
10.
of or relating to the majority:
the major opinion.
11.
of full legal age.
12.
Music.
  1. (of an interval) being between the tonic and the second, third, sixth, or seventh degrees of a major scale:
    a major third; a major sixth.
  2. (of a chord) having a major third between the root and the note next above it.
13.
pertaining to the subject in which a student takes the most courses:
Her major field is English history.
14.
(initial capital letter) (of one of two male students in an English public school who have the same surname) being the elder or higher in standing:
Hobbes Major is not of a scientific bent.
verb (used without object)
15.
to follow a major course of study:
He is majoring in physics.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; < Latin, comparative of magnus large (cf. majesty); replacing Middle English majour < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
Synonyms
8. See capital1 .
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for majoring

major

/ˈmeɪdʒə/
noun
1.
(military) an officer immediately junior to a lieutenant colonel
2.
a person who is superior in a group or class
3.
a large or important company: the oil majors
4.
(often preceded by the) (music) a major key, chord, mode, or scale
5.
(US & Canadian, Austral & NZ)
  1. the principal field of study of a student at a university, etc: his major is sociology
  2. a student who is studying a particular subject as his principal field: a sociology major
6.
a person who has reached the age of legal majority
7.
(logic) a major term or premise
8.
a principal or important record company, film company, etc
9.
(pl) (US & Canadian) the majors, the major leagues
adjective
10.
larger in extent, number, etc: the major part
11.
of greater importance or priority
12.
very serious or significant: a major disaster
13.
main, chief, or principal
14.
of, involving, or making up a majority
15.
(music)
  1. (of a scale or mode) having notes separated by the interval of a whole tone, except for the third and fourth degrees, and seventh and eighth degrees, which are separated by a semitone
  2. relating to or employing notes from the major scale: a major key
  3. (postpositive) denoting a specified key or scale as being major: C major
  4. denoting a chord or triad having a major third above the root
  5. (in jazz) denoting a major chord with a major seventh added above the root
16.
(logic) constituting the major term or major premise of a syllogism
17.
(mainly US & Canadian, Austral & NZ) of or relating to a student's principal field of study at a university, etc
18.
(Brit) the elder: used after a schoolboy's surname if he has one or more younger brothers in the same school: Price major
19.
of full legal age
20.
(postpositive) (bell-ringing) of, relating to, or denoting a method rung on eight bells
verb
21.
(US & Canadian, Austral & NZ) (intransitive) usually foll by in. to do one's principal study (in a particular subject): to major in English literature
22.
(intransitive) usually foll by on. to take or deal with as the main area of interest: the book majors on the peasant dishes
Derived Forms
majorship, noun
Word Origin
C15 (adj): from Latin, comparative of magnus great; C17 (n, in military sense): from French, short for sergeant major

Major

/ˈmeɪdʒə/
noun
1.
Sir John. born 1943, British Conservative politician: Chancellor of the Exchequer (1989–90); prime minister (1990–97)
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for majoring

major

adj.

c.1300, from Latin maior (earlier *magjos), irregular comparative of magnus "large, great" (see magnate). Used in music (of modes, scales, or chords) since 1690s, on notion of an interval a half-tone greater than the minor.

n.

military rank, 1640s, from French major, short for sergent-major, originally a higher rank than at present, from Medieval Latin major "chief officer, magnate, superior person," from Latin maior "an elder, adult," noun use of the adjective (see major (adj.)). The musical sense attested by 1797.

v.

"focus (one's) studies," 1910, American English, from major (n.) in sense of "subject of specialization" (1890). Related: Majored; majoring. Earlier as a verb, in Scottish, "to prance about, or walk backwards and forwards with a military air and step" [Jamieson, 1825].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for majoring

major

adjective

Impressive; weighty; important, serious:The TV pictures of the smoking problem showed overaccessorized secretaries with major hair smoking in dark doorways of an office building (1990s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for major

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for majoring

18
23
Scrabble Words With Friends