adjective ma·jor \ˈmā-jər\

: very important

: large in number, amount, or extent

: very serious or bad

Full Definition of MAJOR

:  greater in dignity, rank, importance, or interest <one of the major poets>
:  greater in number, quantity, or extent <the major part of his work>
:  having attained majority
a :  notable or conspicuous in effect or scope :  considerable <a major improvement>
b :  prominent or significant in size, amount, or degree <earned some major cash>
:  involving grave risk :  serious <a major illness>
:  of or relating to a subject of academic study chosen as a field of specialization
a :  having half steps between the third and fourth and the seventh and eighth degrees <major scale>
b :  based on a major scale <major key>
c :  equivalent to the distance between the keynote and another tone (except the fourth and fifth) of a major scale <major third>
d :  having a major third above the root <major triad>

Examples of MAJOR

  1. He's one of the major figures in 19th-century U.S. history.
  2. Researchers have announced a major advance in the treatment of cancer.
  3. She played a major role in the negotiations.
  4. No major changes are expected.
  5. The grant covered a major part of the cost.
  6. Butter is one of the major ingredients in the recipe.
  7. None of his health problems are major.
  8. He suffered a major heart attack.

Origin of MAJOR

Middle English maiour, from Latin major, comparative of magnus great, large — more at much
First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with MAJOR



: a military officer in the army, air force, or marines who ranks above a captain

: the main subject studied by a college or university student

: a student who has a specified main subject of study

Full Definition of MAJOR

:  a person who has attained majority
a :  one that is superior in rank, importance, size, or performance <economic power of the oil majors>
b :  a major musical interval, scale, key, or mode
:  a commissioned officer in the army, air force, or marine corps ranking above a captain and below a lieutenant colonel
a :  an academic subject chosen as a field of specialization
b :  a student specializing in such a field <a history major>
plural :  major league baseball —used with the
:  any of several high-level tournaments in professional golf

Examples of MAJOR

  1. He chose history as his major and French as his minor.
  2. What was your major in college?
  3. In college, he was a history major.
  4. a club for physics majors

First Known Use of MAJOR




Definition of MAJOR

intransitive verb
:  to pursue an academic major <majored in English>

First Known Use of MAJOR


Other Education Terms

baccalaureate, colloquium, corequisite, dissertation, monograph, pedant, practicum, survey course, thesis


biographical name Ma·jor \ˈmā-jər\

Definition of MAJOR

Sir John 1943– British prime min. (1990–97)

Rhymes with MAJOR


adjective ma·jor \ˈmā-jər\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of MAJOR

:  involving grave risk :  serious <a major illness> <a major surgical procedure>—compare minor
May 25, 2015
callithump Hear it
a noisy boisterous band or parade
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