Majority
Majority
The state of a person or thing greater, or superior, in relation to another person or thing

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Majority
    Majority
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Majority
    (Lat. majoritas)
    Majority, the state of a person or thing greater, or superior, in relation to another person or thing. In canon law the expression has three principal acceptations:
    ♦ (1) In the elections or deliberations of any assembly, majority signifies a higher number of votes. There is an "absolute majority when the number of votes exceeds half the number of the voters; a "relative majority" when the votes for the one candidate, or party, numerically exceed those given to any other. There are also certain special majorities required in certain cases, such as that of two-thirds required for pontifical elections (see CONCLAVE; ELECTION);
    ♦ (2) In reference to persons, majority is the state of persons who have reached the age required for such and such definite acts; in particular for acts of civil life. As a rule, the age of majority is fixed at twenty-one years (see MINORS);
    ♦ (3) In the hierarchical sense, majority is the superiority of certain persons over certain others by reason of the charge or dignity held by the former. It connotes authority, or at least precedence; and its correlative is obedience when there is question of jurisdiction, deference and respect when there is question of dignity. Thus, in the Church, the clergy are superior to the laity; among the clergy, individuals are ranked according to their jurisdiction, their Holy orders, etc.
    In a certain sense, even church buildings have a hierarchical precedence, the first of churches being St. John Lateran's, the pope's cathedral, "mother and head of all the churches of Rome and of the world"; next come the "major" basilicas, then the primatial churches, the metropolitan, cathedral, collegiate etc. (cf. Decretal, I, tit. xxxiii, "De majoritate et obedientia").
    A. BOUDINHON.
    Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

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  • majority — We are concerned here with three related uses, two of them relatively straightforward and one that gives rise to a difficulty: 1. majority = ‘a superiority in numbers’, especially in political contexts, ‘the amount by which a winning vote exceeds …   Modern English usage

  • majority — ma·jor·i·ty /mə jȯr ə tē/ n pl ties 1 a: legal age b: the status of one who has reached legal age 2 a: a number or quantity greater than half of a total compare plu …   Law dictionary

  • Majority — Ma*jor i*ty, n.; pl. {Majorities}. [F. majorit[ e]. See {Major}.] 1. The quality or condition of being major or greater; superiority. Specifically: (a) The military rank of a major. (b) The condition of being of full age, or authorized by law to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • majority — majority, plurality are arbitrarily defined in the United States, especially by statute, when they refer to an excess of votes as determining an election. Both imply an excess of votes over the next highest candidate. The distinction between the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • majority — ► NOUN (pl. majorities) 1) the greater number. 2) Brit. the number by which the votes cast for one party or candidate exceed those for the next. 3) the age when a person is legally considered a full adult, usually 18 or 21. USAGE Strictly… …   English terms dictionary

  • majority — (n.) 1550s, condition of being greater, superiority, from M.Fr. majorité (16c.), from M.L. majoritatem (nom. majoritas) majority, from L. maior greater (see MAJOR (Cf. major) (adj.)). Sense of state of being of full age is attested from 1560s;… …   Etymology dictionary

  • majority — [n1] plurality, most best part*, bulk, greater number, greater part, larger part, lion’s share*, mass, max*, more, more than half*, preponderance, superiority; concepts 766,829,835 Ant. minority, secondary majority [n2] adulthood age of consent,… …   New thesaurus

  • majority — [mə jôr′ə tē, məjär′ə tē] n. pl. majorities [Fr majorité < ML majoritas < L major: see MAJOR] 1. [also with pl. v.] the greater part or larger number; more than half of a total ☆ 2. the number by which the votes cast for the candidate, bill …   English World dictionary

  • Majority — This article is about the mathematical concept of majority. For other uses, see Majority (disambiguation). A majority is a subset of a group consisting of more than half of its members. This can be compared to a plurality, which is a subset… …   Wikipedia

  • majority — ▪ I. majority ma‧jor‧i‧ty 1 [məˈdʒɒrti ǁ məˈdʒɔː , məˈdʒɑː ] noun majorities PLURALFORM 1. [singular] most of the people or things in a particular group: • Some franchisees quit, but the majority are still hanging on. majority of …   Financial and business terms

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