Hypertext Webster Gateway: "major"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Major \Ma"jor\, [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. [Obs.]

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

{Major axis} (Geom.), the greater axis. See {Focus}, n., 2.

{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

{Major premise} (Logic), that premise of a syllogism which
contains the major term.

{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

{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 term} (Logic), that term of a syllogism which forms
the predicate of the conclusion.

{Major third} (Mus.), a third of two steps.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Major \Ma"jor\, 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].

Note: In hypothetical syllogisms, the hypothetical premise is
called the major.

4. [LL. See {Major}.] A mayor. [Obs.] --Bacon.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: of greater importance or stature or rank; "a major artist";
"a major role"; "major highways" [ant: {minor}]
2: greater in scope or effect; "a major contribution"; "a major
improvement"; "a major break with tradition"; "a major
misunderstanding" [ant: {minor}]
3: greater in number or size or amount; "a major portion (a
majority) of the population"; "Ursa Major"; "a major
portion of the winnings" [ant: {minor}]
4: of the field of academic study in which one concentrates or
specializes; "his major field was mathematics" [ant: {minor}]
5: (music) of a scale or mode; "major scales"; "the key of D
major" [ant: {minor}]
6: of greater seriousness or danger; "a major earthquake"; "a
major hurricane"; "a major illness" [ant: {minor}]
7: (law) of full legal age; "major children" [ant: {minor}]
8: (British) of the elder of two boys with the same family
name; "Jones major" [syn: {major(ip)}]
n 1: a commissioned military officer in the United States Army or
Air Force or Marines; below lieutenant colonel and above
2: a university student who is studying a particular field as
the principal subject; "she is a linguistics major"
3: the principal field of study of a student at a university;
"her major is linguistics"
v : have as one's principal field of study; "She is majoring in

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