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plurality

In an election with three or more candidates, where no one gets more than half of the votes, you would win if you had the plurality.

The word plurality first appeared in the 14th Century as "the state of being plural." The meaning applied to an election emerged in the United States around 1828, referring to a group of candidates where none has an absolute majority over the others. We can also use it to express a multitude of anything. For example, the United States is a nation with a plurality of races and religions. Here, plurality gives you the idea of a large, undefined number.

Definitions of plurality
  1. noun
    the state of being plural
    “to mark plurality, one language may add an extra syllable to the word whereas another may simply change the vowel in the existing final syllable”
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    type of:
    state
    the way something is with respect to its main attributes
  2. noun
    a large indefinite number
    “a plurality of religions”
    synonyms: battalion, large number, multitude, pack
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    type of:
    large indefinite amount, large indefinite quantity
    an indefinite quantity that is above the average in size or magnitude
  3. noun
    (in an election with more than 2 options) the number of votes for the candidate or party receiving the greatest number (but less that half of the votes)
    synonyms: relative majority
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    type of:
    relative quantity
    a quantity relative to some purpose
Word Family
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