su·per·ma·jor·i·ty | \ ˈsü-pər-mə-ˌjȯr-ə-tē , -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

With Trump leading the GOP ticket and no marquee race down the ballot, Democrats swamped Republicans that year, retaining a supermajority in the state legislature and carrying Orange County for the first time since the 1930s. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump is driving a surge in public support for stricter gun laws since Florida," 26 Feb. 2018 The taxes and fees were used by Republicans to oust Democratic Sen. Josh Newman this month, costing the Senate their supermajority. Melody Gutierrez,, "Initiative to repeal Calif. gas tax qualifies for November ballot," 25 June 2018 And so in 2010, Orbán was able to exploit a political crisis triggered by an imploding and scandal-ridden Socialist government, and, alongside coalition partners, win a supermajority for the right in parliament. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "A Democracy Disappears," 13 Apr. 2018 Eleven states, plus the District of Columbia, have no such restrictions on changing legislative, so the legislature may amend or overturn citizen initiatives with simple majority or supermajority votes. Maya Sweedler, WSJ, "Washington, D.C., Council Members Consider Repeal of Voter-Passed Minimum-Wage Increase," 12 July 2018 Only 34 percent of voters supported Amendment 5, which came from the Legislature and would require a supermajority vote by the state House and Senate when enacting taxes or fees. Lloyd Dunkelberger,, "Gambling expansion amendment has enough support to pass, poll shows," 13 June 2018 National Amusements had tried to block the move by changing the CBS bylaws to require a supermajority vote to issue the dividend. NBC News, "CBS votes to kick out parent company National Amusements, setting up court battle," 18 May 2018 Even in Canada, the parliament and the provinces retain the power to reverse Supreme Court decisions with supermajority votes. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Court-packing, Democrats’ nuclear option for the Supreme Court, explained," 2 July 2018 If every state’s Senate vote reflected its national orientation, Republicans would have a natural supermajority. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The Republican Court and the Era of Minority Rule," 27 June 2018

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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Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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The first known use of supermajority was in 1915

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su·per·ma·jor·i·ty | \ ˈsü-pər-mə-ˌjȯr-ə-tē \

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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