majority

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 two words applies when there are three or more candidates; then the person who is elected by a majority has more votes than the other candidates com-bined, that is, his vote is in excess of half of the total number of votes cast, and his majority is the number of votes cast for him in excess of one half of the total number of votes.
A person is elected by a plurality when he has more votes than any other candidate, whether he has a majority of the total or not. Thus, if a total of 290,000 votes are cast in an election contested by three candidates, with candidate A polling 200,000 votes, candidate B polling 75,000, and candidate C polling 15,000, candidate A wins the election by a majority of 55,000, and by a plurality of 125,000 over candidate B, and by a plurality of 185,000 over candidate C. Sometimes, where the successful candidate has a vote that exceeds the total of votes cast for all opposing candidates, the term plurality is applied to this excess; thus, in the example given, while candidate A's majority is 55,000, his plurality over candidates B and C together is 110,000.

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • 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 — ► 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

  • majority — ▪ I. majority ma‧jor‧i‧ty 1 [məˈdʒɒrti ǁ məˈdʒɔː , məˈdʒɑː ] noun majorities PLURALFORM 1. [singular] most of the people or things in a particular group: • Some franchisees quit, but the majority are still hanging on. majority of …   Financial and business terms

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