I came across a press release headline: "Global edtech major upGrad raises USD 120 million"

In the article, there is also a sentence that uses "edtech major":

This is the first external funding raised by the edtech major.

I know that "edtech" is "education technology", but what does "major" mean in this context? It seems to mean "company", but I don't see that definition in the dictionary entry for "major".

  • 2
    Edtech seems to be modelled on Fintech ("Financial Technology" = computer programs and other technology used to support or enable banking and financial services). That one doesn't really have any currency, but "major" here is a standard term in high finance - defined by Collins dictionary as (noun) MAJOR = one of the most important companies in a particular industry If you're reading such texts, how come you passed right over (relatively unknown) edtech and stalled at (commonplace) major? Apr 28, 2021 at 14:29
  • @FumbleFingers Is that unusual? Maybe I'm just isolated from the rest of the world. For me, "edtech" is common, while "major" in this sense is not. I know most of the meanings of "major": selecting a major at university, major scales in music, military rank of major, "major" as in important or significant, drum majors in marching bands. I also know that the "supermajors" are the largest oil and gas companies. Maybe it's just a quirk in my vocabulary.
    – Flux
    Apr 29, 2021 at 2:04
  • Perhaps it's an age thing. I still think of "fintech" as a neologism (I doubt it even existed 20 years ago, but almost my entire vocabulary was formed more than twice as long ago as that). And although in retrospect now, "edtech" seems a fairly obvious coinage based on the same "productive mechanism", I'd never seen it until 21 hours ago, at which time it looked decidedly strange to me. Apr 29, 2021 at 11:49

1 Answer 1


Scrolling pretty far down on https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/major under "major | BUSINESS ENGLISH", you can see the definition:

one of the most important companies in a particular industry

  • The majors are projected to collect up to $1 trillion in profits over the next 10 years.
  • Among the majors, this airline ranks first for on-time arrivals.
  • oil/industry/supermarket majors

In other dictionaries such as https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/major you can see:

one that is superior in rank, importance, size, or performance

  • economic power of the oil majors

This is definitely not a common use of the word "major", but there you go.

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