(1)   Greater in number or size or amount
"A major portion (a majority) of the population"
"Ursa Major"
"A major portion of the winnings"
(2)   Greater in scope or effect
"A major contribution"
"A major improvement"
"A major break with tradition"
"A major misunderstanding"
(3)   Of full legal age
(4)   Of a scale or mode
"Major scales"
"The key of D major"
(5)   Of the field of academic study in which one concentrates or specializes
"His major field was mathematics"
(6)   Of greater importance or stature or rank
"A major artist"
"A major role"
"Major highways"
(7)   Of greater seriousness or danger
"A major earthquake"
"A major hurricane"
"A major illness"


(8)   The principal field of study of a student at a university
"Her major is linguistics"
(9)   A commissioned military officer in the United States Army or Air Force or Marines; below lieutenant colonel and above captain
(10)   A university student who is studying a particular field as the principal subject
"She is a linguistics major"
(11)   British statesman who was prime minister from 1990 until 1997 (born in 1943)


(12)   Have as one's principal field of study
"She is majoring in linguistics"


, 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.
  2. A person of legal age.

Etymology 2

, from , comparative of , from Proto-Indo-European *maǵ-yes- "greater", comparative of *maǵ-, *meǵ-, "great".


  1. Of great significance or importance.
  2. Being the larger of two intervals denoted by the same ordinal number.
  3. Containing the note which is a major third (four half steps) above the tonic.


  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.


  1. To concentrate on a particular area of study as a student in a college or university.
    I have decided to major in mathematics.


French military authorities have created in 1972 the rank of major (non-commissioned officer) which can easily be confounded with the rank of major (officer) used in many countries, provocating problems in allied forces communication.