From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishmajorityma‧jor‧i‧ty /məˈdʒɒrəti $ məˈdʒɔː-, məˈdʒɑː-/ ●●● S2 W1 AWL noun (plural majorities) 1 most people or things [singular]MOST most of the people or things in a group opp minoritymajority of The majority of workers find it quite hard to live on the amount of money they earn.great/vast/overwhelming majority of something (=almost all of a group) In the vast majority of cases the disease is fatal.be in the majority (=form the largest group) In this city, Muslims are in the majority. → silent majority• You use a plural verb with the majority of, when it is followed by a plural noun: The majority of patients are women.• You use a plural verb with the majority on its own, when you are considering members of a group as individual people: He sees several patients a day. The majority are women. • You usually use a singular verb with majority, when considering people as a single group: The majority is unwilling to listen to the views of the minority. In British English, you can also use a plural verb in this meaning.2 most votes [countable]PPV if one person or group wins a majority in an election, they win more votes than other people or groupsmajority of 50/100 etc He won by a majority of 500. The Labour Party won a huge majority at the last general election.clear/overall/absolute majority (=a situation in which one party wins more votes in an election than all the other parties) The party won an absolute majority in Portugal in 1987.small/narrow majority The government gained only a narrow majority, with 151 votes against 144.Labour/Conservative etc majority The Labour majority was reduced to just 15 seats at the last election.3 → majority vote/decision/verdict etc4 → majority stake/shareholding etc5 becoming an adult [uncountable] British English lawSCL the age when someone legally becomes an adult opp minorityreach majority/the age of majority He became a partner in the family firm on reaching his majority.COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: if one person or group wins a majority in an election, they win more votes than other people or groupsverbshave/hold a majorityThe Democratic party has a majority in the Senate.win a majorityThe Conservative Party won a large majority.secure a majority (=win a majority)They failed to secure a majority.get/gain/receive a majorityIf no one gets an overall majority, the vote is repeated.command a majority (=have a majority)They were one seat short of being able to command a majority in parliament.increase a majority (=get more votes than you had before)Labour increased its majority in the area.lose a majorityThe Republicans lost their narrow majority in Congress at the midterm elections.retain a majority formal (=keep a majority)They were able to retain an absolute majority of seats.defend a majority (=try not to lose it)He is defending a majority of 400 against his Labour opponent.overturn a majority (=win a majority that previously belonged to someone else)She hoped to overturn a Tory majority of 2,221.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + majoritya large majorityParliament voted by a large majority in favour of the ban.a huge majority (=a very big majority)Gone are the days of huge majorities and easy victories.a small majorityTheir small majority made them worried about winning the next election.a slim/narrow majority (=a very small majority)The proposal was passed by a slim majority.an overall majority (=more votes than anyone else)What happens if no candidate receives an overall majority?an overwhelming majority (=a large majority)The resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority.an absolute/outright/clear majority (=a majority that has been won by more than half the votes)There was no party with an absolute majority in the House of Commons.a simple majority (=a majority that has been won by most of the votes)A simple majority of the people at the meeting were in favour of the changes.a two-thirds/2:1/three to one etc majorityA two-thirds majority in both Houses of Congress is needed to overturn a presidential veto.a Labour/Democratic/Tory etc majorityRepublican majorities were elected in both Houses of Congress that year.a parliamentary majority (=one that has enough seats in parliament to control it)Labour increased its parliamentary majority.majority + NOUNa majority voteThe majority vote carries the resolution.the majority party (=the party with the most seats in a parliament)At that time, Labour was the majority party in Parliament.majority support (=votes or support given by the most number of people)a solution that will command majority support in the House
Examples from the Corpusmajority• Since 1879, House rules have required a majority of those voting for a distinct candidate to elect a speaker.• The Labour candidate advocating a pacifist programme, reversed a large Conservative majority in a seat never before held by Labour.• And now voters have chosen reform by unexpectedly large majorities.• However, for the majority of those that eventually retired early, redundancy appears to have been the deciding factor.• However, there is no doubt that the majority of authorities do favour an examination of reasonableness at the time of contracting.• That convention needed a consensus, while the London Dumping Convention adopts its resolutions by a two-thirds majority.• Meanwhile, the Senate voted but failed to get a two-thirds majority on the balanced budget and flag desecration amendments.• A two-thirds majority is needed to override a veto.• The vast majority of children do attend school for all or part of the primary school cycle.be in the majority• The number of women on the committee has grown steadily and now they are in the majority.• In terms of space, in other words, they are in the majority.• Each tribe claims to be in the majority.• It is a fact that women are in the majority in many of our Church organisations.Labour/Conservative etc majority• The hectic schedule ended in Cheltenham, where the Liberal democrats hope to overturn a Conservative majority of just under 5,000.• In a town with a Conservative majority of just 2,661, the personal charm and persuasion of each candidate will be crucial.• The Labour candidate advocating a pacifist programme, reversed a large Conservative majority in a seat never before held by Labour.• There's competition but also consensus of view: a lower Labour majority next time and a Tory advance.• Yet Labour in the 1980s was still insufficiently united and popular to reverse the massive Conservative majority in terms of parliamentary seats.• One must be held by May 1997 anyway, even if the precarious Conservative majority holds.• Many people suspended judgement and throughout the West Midlands reduced polls saw Conservative majorities cut.