# "Majority" is defined as the larger part of something. Is the LARGEST part of something better, instead?

Cambridge Dictionary defines "majority" as the larger part of something. I wonder why they use "larger" instead of "largest". Could you explain with examples why "larger" fits better than "largest" for the definition of "majority"?

• If you are talking about voting, you could also investigate the word "plurality", which is related to "majority" Oct 14, 2021 at 5:42

They use "larger" because they are in the comparative. It involves two parts. The larger is the majority, the smaller is the minority.

If it is the largest, it may not be the majority if there are three or more parts. If something is 40%, while two other things are 30% apiece, it's the largest, but it does not constitute a majority, merely a plurality.

You can use either larger or largest. Logically, if you partition a group between all that are A, and all that are not A, you have two groups, and you can use the simple comparative larger to identify one of the parts.
You can also logically use the term largest.

There is some discussion of this here:
stackexchange ELU *

Use of the superlative when only two items are present.

Most dictionaries indicate superlative for majority. (The term most is superlative.)

• Is "Majority" always used to indicate the larger part in a two partitioned group? I wonder whether it can be used in a group divided into more than two, and it also means the larger part in the case. Oct 14, 2021 at 7:21
• We say 'the larger' of two sections, 'the largest' of more than two. If the majority of a string of beads are red, there are more red ones than any other colour, regardless of how many different colours there are. Oct 14, 2021 at 8:08
• A majority is always more than half, regardless of how the minority (less than half) might be subdivided. Oct 14, 2021 at 13:41
• @JiHyunLee Yes, the word majority implies more than half, and implies a group partitioned in two. You can partition the group into as many subgroups as you like, but if A is more than half, that in itself creates a partition into two: A, and not A. Oct 14, 2021 at 19:39