major

Definitions

Media Studies

  • noun a media company that is powerful, important or very productive

Medical

  • adjective more important or serious than others of the same type

Military

  • noun an officer in the army or marines, below lieutenant-colonel and above captain (normally in command of a company or equivalent-sized grouping or employed as a staff officer)
  • noun an officer in the army, marines or air force, below lieutenant colonel and above captain.
  • abbreviationMaj

Slang

  • adjective excellent, exceptional, admirable. A vogue adjective in adolescent usage in the 1990s. The appropriation of the standard term probably occurred first in American speech. Like mega and totally it was initially used to qualify another word before being allowed to stand alone.

Origin & History of “major”

Latin mājor ‘larger’ was the comparative form of magnus ‘large’, from which English gets magnitude, magnum etc (in early Latin it was *māgjōs). English originally acquired it as an adjective. Its noun use, for an army officer, followed in the 17th century. this represented a borrowing from French major, which was short for sergeant-major (in those days, ‘sergeant major’ was a more elevated rank than it is today). The derivative majority (16th c.) comes via French majorité from medieval Latin mājōritās.

Mayor comes from Latin mājor, routed via Old French.
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