A majority is a subset of a set consisting of more than half of the set's elements. This can be compared to a plurality, which is a subset larger than any other subset considered; i.e. a plurality is not necessarily a majority as the largest subset considered may consist of less than half the set's elements. In British English, majority and plurality are often used as synonyms, and the term majority is also alternatively used to refer to the winning margin, i.e. the number of votes separating the first-place finisher from the second-place finisher.
A majority may be called a simple majority to contrast with other types of majority: an overall majority, in parliamentary systems, is the difference of legislators between the government and its opposition; an absolute majority is a majority of all electors, not just those who voted; and a supermajority is a stronger majority than a simple majority.
Famous quotes containing the word majority:
“Is a Bill of Rights a security for [religious liberty]? If there were but one sect in America, a Bill of Rights would be a small protection for liberty.... Freedom derives from a multiplicity of sects, which pervade America, and which is the best and only security for religious liberty in any society. For where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest.”
—James Madison (17511836)
“There is a delicate balance of putting yourself last and not being a doormat and thinking of yourself first and not coming off as selfish, arrogant, or bossy. We spend the majority of our lives attempting to perfect this balance. When we are successful, we have many close, healthy relationships. When we are unsuccessful, we suffer the natural consequences of damaged and sometimes broken relationships. Children are just beginning their journey on this important life lesson.”
—Cindy L. Teachey. Building Lifelong RelationshipsSchool Age Programs at Work, Child Care Exchange (January 1994)
“Theres a certain part of the contented majority who love anybody who is worth a billion dollars.”
—John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)