- the excess of votes received by the leading candidate, in an election in which there are three or more candidates, over those received by the next candidate (distinguished from majority).
- more than half of the whole; the majority.
- a number greater than one.
- fact of being numerous.
- a large number; multitude.
- state or fact of being plural.
- the holding by one person of two or more benefices at the same time; pluralism.
- any of the benefices so held.
Origin of plurality
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for plurality
Even on the eve of its passage, at least a plurality said they opposed the law.After Four Years and Millions of Sign-Ups, Obamacare Is Still Unpopular
Kristen Soltis Anderson
April 2, 2014
Southerners refused to suspend the House rules to elect the speaker with a plurality.The South Has Indeed Risen Again and It’s Called the Tea Party
December 8, 2013
Never mind Hernandez's meager 34 percent plurality in the fiercely battled contest.Honduras Presidential Election Passes Over Chavez Loyalists
November 27, 2013
This is a far cry from 2006, where—at most—she had support from a plurality of Democrats.There’s Absolutely No Chance Elizabeth Warren Beats Hillary Clinton
November 11, 2013
The last time women cast a plurality for the Republican presidential nominee was in 1988.Hillary Clinton Vs. the GOP Boys’ Club: Fighting for the Female Vote
October 21, 2013
That they had any distinct notions of a plurality of husbands or wives, I do not believe.The Uncommercial Traveller
They have thought that the elements of plurality and unity have not been duly adjusted.Theaetetus
Most of these patents also disclose a plurality of elements or acts.The Classification of Patents
United States Patent Office
Art establishes itself on a plurality of levels of interaction.The Civilization of Illiteracy
That a plurality of worlds does not contradict any principle of reason or faith.Moon Lore
- the state of being plural or numerous
- maths a number greater than one
- US and Canadian the excess of votes or seats won by the winner of an election over the runner-up when no candidate or party has more than 50 per centBritish equivalent: relative majority
- a large number
- the greater number; majority
- another word for pluralism (def. 1)
Word Origin and History for plurality
late 14c., "state of being plural," from Old French pluralite (14c.), from Late Latin pluralitatem (nominative pluralitas), from Latin pluralis (see plural). Meaning "fact of there being many, multitude" is from mid-15c. Church sense of "holding of two or more offices concurrently" is from mid-14c. Meaning "greater number, more than half" is from 1570s but is etymologically improper, perhaps modeled on majority. U.S. sense of "excess of votes over rival candidate(s)," especially when none has an absolute majority, is from 1828.