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

Democrats need to pick up just one seat in the House and Senate to achieve the three-fifths supermajority necessary to pass bills raising revenue without Republican support., "Liberal Democrats' primary wins could push Legislature further to the left," 15 May 2018 Second, in order to pass AB 398 and extend the cap-and-trade program through 2030, Brown was required to muster a two-thirds supermajority in the legislature. David Roberts, Vox, "California’s cap-and-trade system may be too weak to do its job," 12 Dec. 2018 The Senate’s supermajority requirement has been an enormous frustration for Trump during his term in office. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The nuclear option, explained.," 21 Dec. 2018 Florida’s Amendment 5 would change the state constitution so the Legislature needs a two-thirds supermajority to raise taxes or fees. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Where Taxes Are on the Ballot," 4 Nov. 2018 But Republicans, who hold supermajority control in both chambers, have avoided public discussions about removing Hill from office. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "Curtis Hill scandal threatens his future — and stability in Indiana Statehouse," 8 July 2018 That district, which runs from the northern suburbs along the county's western edge to the southern tip of Mecklenburg County, is viewed as one where the Republican supermajority risks losing a seat. Ann Doss Helms, charlotteobserver, "That $200,000 NC taxpayers were giving to 35 CMS schools? It's spiked. Here's why.," 15 June 2018 And Tesla has a supermajority voting structure that requires a two-thirds majority for major changes — a high hurdle given that Mr. Musk himself holds about one-fifth of the shares. Neal E. Boudette, New York Times, "Tesla Turns Back Rare Challenge From Shareholders," 5 June 2018 But there’s no path to a 60-vote Democratic supermajority. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The 3 decisions that will shape Medicare-for-all," 17 Dec. 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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17 Feb 2019

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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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