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[ploo-ral-i-tee] /plʊˈræl ɪ ti/
noun, plural pluralities.
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.
  1. the holding by one person of two or more benefices at the same time; pluralism.
  2. any of the benefices so held.
Origin of plurality
1325-75; Middle English pluralite < Old French < Late Latin plūrālitās. See plural, -ity
Related forms
nonplurality, noun, plural nonpluralities.
Can be confused
majority, plurality (see synonym study at majority) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for plurality
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That they had any distinct notions of a plurality of husbands or wives, I do not believe.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • They have thought that the elements of plurality and unity have not been duly adjusted.

    Theaetetus Plato
  • 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.

  • That a plurality of worlds does not contradict any principle of reason or faith.

    Moon Lore Timothy Harley
British Dictionary definitions for plurality


noun (pl) -ties
the state of being plural or numerous
(maths) a number greater than one
(US & 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 cent British equivalent relative majority
a large number
the greater number; majority
another word for pluralism (sense 1)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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