su·​per·​ma·​jor·​i·​ty | \ ˈsü-pər-mə-ˌjȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce supermajority (audio) , -ˌjär- \
plural supermajorities

Definition of supermajority

: a majority (such as two-thirds or three-fifths) that is greater than a simple majority treaty ratification requires a supermajority Furthermore, it is about even money that soon after Congress convenes in January it will … approve a constitutional amendment to require supermajorities (three-fifths) in both houses of Congress to approve deficit spending.— George F. Will The company, for instance, has a supermajority clause in its articles of incorporation; 80% of the shareholders must approve any sale or merger.— Joshua Hyatt

Examples of supermajority in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Democrats had the House and a supermajority of exactly 60 Senate seats early in the Obama administration and accomplished nothing close to what Biden intends. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Election Will Not Be Judgment Day," 12 May 2020 One can be cautiously optimistic that, should a supermajority of states endure the unpleasantness of every available intervention even as the curve flattens and declines, this will eventually conclude as a tragicomedy, not as Hamlet. Chris Wilson, Time, "The U.S. Has Flattened the Curve. Next Up Is 'Squashing' It — and That's Not Going Well," 28 Apr. 2020 Changing that likely would need a supermajority of 67 votes, the same number needed to override a presidential veto. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "'Extraordinary circumstances': Congress mulls voting remotely to avoid coronavirus threat," 17 Mar. 2020 As a result, state lawmakers instituted a requirement for a supermajority of 10 jurors to vote in favor of the death penalty, but that was thrown out by the Florida Supreme Court, which found such sentences required a unanimous vote. New York Times, "2 Jurors Voted to Spare Nathaniel Woods’s Life. Alabama Executed Him.," 5 Mar. 2020 Beshear's vetoes can be overridden by a majority vote in each chamber, and Republicans hold a supermajority of over 60% of the seats in both the House and Senate. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "Stivers: Senate may take up bills not related to pandemic when legislature returns," 13 Apr. 2020 Page is chairman—and hold a supermajority of voting shares, giving them effective control of decision making at Google that remains unchanged. Rob Copeland, WSJ, "Google Parent Posts Weak Earnings but Unveils YouTube, Cloud Results," 3 Feb. 2020 Despite the approval of a supermajority of states, opinions were divided about the amendment, including among residents in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Terry Demio,, "150th anniversary of black men winning the vote brings reflection," 3 Feb. 2020 Supporters do not have the two-thirds supermajority needed to override a veto. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "Two Americans, British national killed in rocket attack on Iraq military base: reports," 12 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'supermajority.' 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 supermajority

1915, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for supermajority

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The first known use of supermajority was in 1915

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Statistics for supermajority

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Supermajority.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for supermajority


su·​per·​ma·​jor·​i·​ty | \ ˈsü-pər-mə-ˌjȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce supermajority (audio) \

Legal Definition of supermajority

: a large majority a provision requiring a supermajority vote — say, 80 % of the common shares instead of the usual bare majority rule— R. C. Clark

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