major

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ma·jor / ˈmājər/ • adj. 1. important, serious, or significant: the use of drugs is a major problem. ∎  greater or more important; main: he got the major share of the spoils. ∎  (of a surgical operation) serious or life-threatening: he had to undergo major surgery. 2. Mus. (of a scale) having an interval of a semitone between the third and fourth degrees and the seventh and eighth degrees. Contrasted with minor. ∎  (of an interval) equivalent to that between the tonic and another note of a major scale, and greater by a semitone than the corresponding minor interval. ∎  (of a key) based on a major scale, tending to produce a bright or joyful effect: Prelude in G Major. ∎  (of a triad) having a major third as the bottom interval. 3. of full legal age. 4. Logic (of a term) occurring as the predicate in the conclusion of a categorical syllogism. ∎  (of a premise) containing the major term in a categorical syllogism. 5. Brit., dated (appended to a surname in some schools) indicating the elder of two brothers. • n. 1. an army officer of high rank, in particular (in the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps) an officer ranking above captain and below lieutenant colonel. 2. Mus. a major key, interval, or scale. ∎  (Major) Bell-ringing a system of change-ringing using eight bells. 3. a student's principal subject or course of study. ∎  a student specializing in a specified subject: a math major. 4. a major world organization, company, or competition: it's not unreasonable to believe someone can win all four majors. ∎  (the majors) the major leagues. 5. a person of full legal age. 6. Logic a major term or premise. 7. Bridge short for major suit. • v. [intr.] (major in) specialize in (a particular subject) at a college or university: I was trying to decide if I should major in drama or English.

major

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major1 officer below the rank of lieutenant-colonel. XVII. — F. (short for sergent-major sergeant-major, orig. a much higher rank than now) — L. mājor; see next. Also in m.-general (XVII), earlier sergeant-m.-general (XVII). — F. major-général, where major is sb. and général adj.
So major-domo chief official of a household. XVI. Earliest forms maior-, mayordome — (partly through F. majordome) Sp. mayordomo, It. maggiordomo — medL. mājor domūs (domūs, g. of domus house) highest official of the royal household under the Merovingians.

major

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major2 greater. XVI. — L. mājor (:- *māgjōs) compar. of magnus great (see MAGNITUDE).
So majority † superiority, state of being of full age XVI; greater number or part XVII. — F. majorité — medL. mājōritās.

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