Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of major
Meaning of major by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms


    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈmeɪ.dʒ.ə( ɹ )/, X-SAMPA: /"meIdZ.@( r\ )/
    • ( US ) IPA: /ˈmeɪdʒɚ/, X-SAMPA: /"meIdZ@`/
    • Rhymes: -eɪdʒə( ɹ )

    Etymology 1

    From French major


    major ( plural: majors ), or, when used as a title before a person's name, Major

    1. a military rank between captain and lieutenant colonel
      He used to be a major in the army .
      This is Major Jones .
    Usage notes

    When used as a title, it is always capitalized .

    Example: Major Jane Payne .

    The rank corresponds to pay grade O-4. Abbreviations: Maj. and MAJ .

    Related terms

    Etymology 2

    Middle English major, from Latin maior, comparative of magnus ( “great” ), from Proto-Indo-European *maǵ-yes- "greater", comparative of *maǵ-, *meǵ-, "great" .



    1. of great significance or importance
    2. ( music ) being the larger of two intervals denoted by the same ordinal number
    3. ( music ) containing the note which is a major third ( four half steps ) above the tonic
    4. ( Canadian football ) an alternate term for touchdown; short for "major score"
    Derived terms


    major ( plural: majors )

    1. the main area of study of a student working toward a degree at a college or university
      Midway through his second year of college, he still hadn't chosen a major .
    2. a student at a college or university concentrating on a given area of study
      She is a math major .
    3. a person of legal age


    • joram

Explanation of major by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. have as one's principal field of study

    2. She is majoring in linguistics
    1. greater in number or size or amount

    2. a major portion ( a majority ) of the population
      Ursa Major
      a major portion of the winnings
    3. greater in scope or effect

    4. a major contribution
      a major improvement
      a major break with tradition
      a major misunderstanding
    5. of full legal age

    6. of a scale or mode

    7. major scales
      the key of D major
    8. of the field of academic study in which one concentrates or specializes

    9. his major field was mathematics
    10. of greater importance or stature or rank

    11. a major artist
      a major role
      major highways
    12. of greater seriousness or danger

    13. a major earthquake
      a major hurricane
      a major illness
    14. of the elder of two boys with the same family name

    15. Jones major
    1. the principal field of study of a student at a university

    2. her major is linguistics
    3. a commissioned military officer in the United States Army or Air Force or Marines

    4. a university student who is studying a particular field as the principal subject

    5. she is a linguistics major
    6. British statesman who was prime minister from 1990 until 1997 ( born in 1943 )

    Definition of major by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Major [L. major, compar. of magnus great: cf. F. majeur. Cf. Master, Mayor, Magnitude, More, a.]
      1. Greater in number, quantity, or extent; as, “the major part of the assembly; the major part of the revenue; the major part of the territory.”

      2. Of greater dignity; more important. Shak.

      3. Of full legal age; adult. [Obs.]

      4. ( Mus. ) Greater by a semitone, either in interval or in difference of pitch from another tone.

      Major key ( Mus. ), a key in which one and two, two and three, four and five, five and six and seven, make major seconds, and three and four, and seven and eight, make minor seconds. -- Major offense ( Law ), an offense of a greater degree which contains a lesser offense, as murder and robbery include assault. -- Major scale ( Mus. ), the natural diatonic scale, which has semitones between the third and fourth, and seventh and fourth, and seventh and eighth degrees; the scale of the major mode, of which the third is major. See Scale, and Diatonic. -- Major second ( Mus. ), a second between whose tones is a difference in pitch of a step. -- Major sixth ( Mus. ), a sixth of four steps and a half step. In major keys the third and sixth from the key tone are major. Major keys and intervals, as distinguished from minors, are more cheerful. -- Major third ( Mus. ), a third of two steps.

    2. Major, n. [F. major. See Major, a.]
      1. ( Mil. ) An officer next in rank above a captain and next below a lieutenant colonel; the lowest field officer.

      2. ( Law ) A person of full age.

      3. ( Logic ) That premise which contains the major term. It its the first proposition of a regular syllogism; as: No unholy person is qualified for happiness in heaven [the major]. Every man in his natural state is unholy [minor]. Therefore, no man in his natural state is qualified for happiness in heaven [conclusion or inference].

      ☞ In hypothetical syllogisms, the hypothetical premise is called the major.

      4. [LL. See Major.] A mayor. [Obs.] Bacon.