Skip to main content
Select Source:

major

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.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"major." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"major." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/major-0

"major." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved April 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/major-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

major

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.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"major." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"major." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/major-1

"major." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved April 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/major-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

major

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.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"major." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"major." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/major-2

"major." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved April 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/major-2

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

major

majorbadger, cadger •Alger, neuralgia •ganja, grandeur, phalanger •charger, enlarger, maharaja, raja •slàinte • turbocharger •dredger, edger, hedger, ledger, pledger, St Leger •avenger, revenger •gauger, golden-ager, major, old-stager, pager, rampager, sergeant major, stager, wager •arranger, changer, danger, endanger, exchanger, Grainger, hydrangea, manger, ranger, stranger •moneychanger • teenager •bushranger •besieger, paraplegia, procedure •abridger •cringer, ginger, impinger, infringer, injure, ninja, whinger, winger •dowager • voyager • harbinger •bondager • wharfinger • packager •Scaliger •challenger, Salinger •pillager, villager •armiger • scrimmager •rummager, scrummager •manager • derringer • forager •porringer • encourager •Massinger, passenger •presager • messenger • Kissinger •integer, vintager •cottager • frontager • ravager •salvager • scavenger •Elijah, Niger, obliger •codger, dodger, lodger, roger, todger •forger, Georgia, gorger •gouger •lounger, scrounger •sunlounger • soldier •Abuja, puja

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"major." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"major." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/major

"major." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved April 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/major

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.