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Middle English, from Old French pluralité ("multitude, state of being plural"), from Latin pl?r?lit?s.
plurality (countable and uncountable, plural pluralities)
- (uncountable) The state of being plural.
- (ecclesiastical) The holding of multiple benefices.
- 1644, John Milton, Aeropagitica:
- It was the complaint and lamentation of Prelats, upon every least breath of a motion to remove pluralities, and distribute more equally Church revennu's, that then all learning would be for ever dasht and discourag'd.
- (countable) A state of being numerous.
- (countable) A number or part of a whole which is greater than any other number or part, but not necessarily a majority.
- (countable) A number of votes for a single candidate or position which is greater than the number of votes gained by any other single candidate or position voted for, but which is less than a majority of valid votes cast.
- 1977 September 8, "Crime against clarity", editorial, Bangor Daily News, page 14 :
- To repeal the tax (Question I), a 50 per cent majority vote is required. To keep the tax in its 1976 form (Question III), only a plurality of votes is required.
- (countable) A margin by which a number exceeds another number, especially of votes.
- 1948 December 10, "President Race Ignored by 683,382 Voters", The Deseret News, page A-2 :
- Truman's total vote was 24,104,836. Dewey received 21,969,500; [...] . Truman won by a plurality of 2,135,336, but it was the first time since 1916 that a winner has failed to capture a majority of all votes cast.
- (countable) A group of many entities: a large number.
- A plurality of ideas were put forth at the meeting, most of which were rejected out of hand.
- (countable) A group composed of more than one entity.
- 1989, United States Patent 5065364, abstract:
- The array is organized into a plurality of vertical (column) blocks.
- (of spouses) Polygamy.
the state of being plural
most votes in election, but less than 50%
group composed of more than one entity