majority


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join the majority

euphemism To die. A: "I heard there was a death in your family." B: "Oh yeah, some distant relative joined the majority."
See also: join, majority

the silent majority

the large numbers of people in a country or group who do not express their opinions publicly What does the silent majority expect from a new Labour government?
See sleeping partner
See also: majority, silent

silent majority

A group that makes up a majority of voters but does not widely express its views through marches or demonstrations. For example, They thought they had a convincing case, but they hadn't counted on the silent majority. This idiom was first recorded in 1874 but gained currency in the 1960s, when President Richard Nixon claimed that his policies were supported by a majority of citizens who did not bother to make their views known.
See also: majority, silent
References in classic literature ?
A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people.
If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote.
Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time must be prevented, or the majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression.
A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.
The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression.
You will do as the majority decide, or you will be `the first' without the formality of drawing lots," said Monsieur Thuran threateningly.
It is the will of the majority," announced Monsieur Thuran, "and now let us lose no time in drawing lots.
asked Monsieur Thuran, knowing from past experience that the majority of men always prefer last chance in a lottery where the single prize is some distasteful thing--there is always the chance and the hope that another will draw it first.
There isn't any earthly doubt that the Conservatives will be returned with a big majority again.
Mistress Blythe, the Liberals are in with a sweeping majority.
In one sense, the pupil's witty answer might be given by a large majority of sublunary beings.
After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule, is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest.
And in spite of the fact that science, art, and politics had no special interest for him, he firmly held those views on all these subjects which were held by the majority and by his paper, and he only changed them when the majority changed them--or, more strictly speaking, he did not change them, but they imperceptibly changed of themselves within him.
In the majority of the shameful cases of disease and death from destitution, that shock the Public and disgrace the country, the illegality is quite equal to the inhumanity--and known language could say no more of their lawlessness.
Another procedural point worthy of note: Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin, although a member of the majority bloc, left its opinion to the co-authorship of Justices Frank Iacobucci and Louise Arbour.