plu·ral·i·ty | \plu̇-ˈra-lə-tē \
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

Of those who voted for a radical right party, about 43 percent — a plurality — place themselves in the center. Matthijs Rooduijn, Washington Post, "It’s radicals, not centrists, who are really more hostile to democracy," 12 June 2018 At the same time, six-in-10 are satisfied with the U.S. economy, and a plurality of voters give Trump credit for the economic improvement. NBC News, "Poll: Economic satisfaction under Trump isn't helping his party's 2018 chances," 7 June 2018 At the same time, six-in-10 are satisfied with the U.S. economy, and a plurality of voters give Trump credit for the economic improvement. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "The Polls Are Swinging to the Democrats," 7 June 2018 LePage, who won his first term with a plurality of just 38 percent, would likely have been eliminated in the second round since the independent candidate and the Democrat were jousting over the same votes. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "As goes Maine, so goes the nation?," 12 June 2018 LePage was elected and reelected governor with a plurality in three-way races. David Wright, CNN, "Maine set for groundbreaking voting experiment on Tuesday," 11 June 2018 Were Hungary deprived of voting rights, the PPE would lose its plurality of seats in the assembly. Monika Nalepa, Washington Post, "Poland may forcibly ‘retire’ dozens of Supreme Court justices," 10 July 2018 Polls show a plurality of Americans, and large majorities of whites and Republicans, do not support the player protests. Noah Bierman,, "Spurned Trump turns the annual Super Bowl celebration into a culture war skirmish," 5 June 2018 That’s because Maine’s Constitution explicitly states that a candidate only needs a plurality of votes (meaning more than any other candidate), and not a majority of votes, to win an election. James Pindell,, "In Maine, a voting experiment could have real consequences for partisan politics," 6 Apr. 2018

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

5 Oct 2018

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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

: a usually large number of things

: 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 \
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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Comments on plurality

What made you want to look up plurality? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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