views updated May 29 2018

ma·jor·i·ty / məˈjôrətē; -ˈjär-/ • n. (pl. -ties) 1. the greater number: in the majority of cases all will go smoothly| [as adj.] it was a majority decision. ∎  the number by which votes for one candidate in an election are more than those for all other candidates combined. ∎ Brit. the number by which the votes for one party or candidate exceed those of the next in rank. ∎  a party or group receiving the greater number of votes.2. the age when a person is legally considered a full adult, in most contexts either 18 or 21.3. the rank or office of a major.PHRASES: be in the majority belong to or constitute the larger group or number: publishing houses where women are in the majority.


views updated May 21 2018


Full age; legal age; age at which a person is no longer a minor. The age at which, by law, a person is capable of being legally responsible for all of his or her acts (e.g. contractual obligations), and is entitled to the management of his or her own affairs and to the enjoyment of civic rights (e.g. right to vote). The opposite of minority. Also the status of a person who is a major in age.

The greater number. The number greater than half of any total.

The common-law age of majority is twenty-one although state legislatures may change this age by statute. infants reach the age of majority on the first moment of the day preceding their twenty-first birthday. Minority is the period of time when a child is an infant.