plu·​ral·​i·​ty | \ plu̇-ˈra-lə-tē How to pronounce plurality (audio) \
plural pluralities

Definition of plurality

1a : the state of being plural
b : the state of being numerous
c : a large number or quantity
2 : pluralism sense 1 also : a benefice held by pluralism
3a : a number greater than another
b : an excess of votes over those cast for an opposing candidate
c : a number of votes cast for a candidate in a contest of more than two candidates that is greater than the number cast for any other candidate but not more than half the total votes cast

Examples of plurality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

More Alabama counties - 15 and a half to be exact - sent a plurality of students to Troy University than any other school in the state. Ramsey Archibald |, al, "Auburn is winning the battle for Alabama students," 13 Aug. 2019 That does not make the acceptance of these things by a disturbingly large plurality of Americans any less a fact of life. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Trump and the ‘Racist Tweets’," 16 July 2019 By that reckoning, despite Clinton’s election by popular plurality in 1992, his presidency was illegitimate. Sean Wilentz, The New York Review of Books, "Presumed Guilty," 7 Mar. 2019 By slight plurality, more believe Christine Ford than Judge Kavanaugh, many undecided. Fox News, "Media's Kavanaugh spectacle," 24 Sep. 2018 His appeal is less about him and more about the fact that a plurality of Democratic voters either genuinely prefers moderate policies or believes a moderate candidate has the best chance of beating Trump. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "Is Biden Really Democrats’ Best Bet?," 29 July 2019 As in past years, the plurality, or perhaps majority, of attendants drove five hours from the northwest to see the show. Chris Varias,, "Bobby Brown makes for memorable Cincinnati Music Festival," 27 July 2019 There’s a plurality of Parisian styles and personalities—that’s obvious from walking the streets of Paris. Lindsey Tramuta, Glamour, "These Women Are Redefining What It Means to Have ‘Parisian Style’," 26 July 2019 In the summer of 1992, a plurality of the country craved someone different, someone who wasn’t defined by party labels. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Ross Perot's political legacy: Clinton, populism, Trump and the tea party," 9 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plurality.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of plurality

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

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The first known use of plurality was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of plurality

formal : a usually large number of things
chiefly US, technical : a number of votes that is more than the number of votes for any other candidate or party but that is not more than half of the total number of votes
grammar : the state of being plural


plu·​ral·​i·​ty | \ plu̇-ˈra-lə-tē How to pronounce plurality (audio) \
plural pluralities

Legal Definition of plurality

: an amount or group (as of votes) that is greater than any other amount or group within a total but that is not more than half especially : a group of justices on an appeals court who do not form a majority but with whose opinion enough other justices concur to render it the decision of the court — see also plurality opinion at opinion — compare majority

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More from Merriam-Webster on plurality

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plurality

Spanish Central: Translation of plurality

Nglish: Translation of plurality for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plurality for Arabic Speakers

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recurring in steady succession

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