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 Overall, a 30 percent plurality think race is the biggest source of division in America today, up from 26 percent in February. Andrew Arenge, NBC News, "Poll: 64 percent of Americans say racism remains a major problem," 29 May 2018 Before the rise of aggregating, mob-friendly, group-think websites, movie culture used to be esteemed for plurality; its history being the legacy of the great democratic audience informed by mainstream artists. Armond White, National Review, "CNN Fakes Movie History as Well as the News," 5 July 2019 For the plurality, Justice Samuel Alito called unconscious drivers the most dangerous, and that making police chase down a warrant would take time away from pressing other duties, especially at a crash scene. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In Wisconsin case, U.S. Supreme court says police can draw blood from unconscious drivers without warrant," 27 June 2019 Its usual spokespeople, who carefully maintain the appearance of a plurality of opinion when times are calm, have unanimously compared protesters to racists, anti-Semites, homophobes, plotters, and troublemakers. . . Christopher Ketcham, Harper's magazine, "A Play with No End," 22 July 2019 This plurality of voters can choose a Republican or Democratic ballot come primary day. Nicole Sganga, CBS News, "2020 Democratic candidates speak at New Hampshire cattle call," 7 Sep. 2019 For the viewing public, this collection will help expose the richness and plurality of American people. Syreeta Mcfadden, The Atlantic, "Why Ebony Magazine’s Archives Were Saved," 31 July 2019 Biden may well be benefiting from a similar phenomenon here, as a plurality of more-moderate Democrats back him and primary voters who favor more liberal policies divide unevenly among the several more-progressive candidates. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "Is Biden Really Democrats’ Best Bet?," 29 July 2019 The thesis of constitutional morality developed by former chief justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra to inter alia protect an individual against majoritarian opinion, although criticised for subjective potential, has buttressed plurality. Salman Khurshid, Quartz India, "Rumours, suspicions, fears: What Indian Muslims have battled since Independence," 26 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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Statistics for plurality

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for plurality

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

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How to pronounce plurality (audio)

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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a calculated move

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