1680s, "greater heaviness, fact of exceeding in weight," from Latin praeponderans, present participle of praeponderare "make heavier" (see preponderate). Sense of "greater importance" is from 1780; that of "greater number" is from 1845. Related: Preponderancy.
masc. proper name, from Medieval Latin Venceslaus (modern Czech Vaclav), from Old Czech Veceslavŭ, literally "having greater glory," from Slavic *vetye- "greater" + *-slavu "fame, glory," from PIE *klou-, from root *kleu- "to hear."
c. 1300, majour, "greater, more important or effective, leading, principal," from Latin maior (earlier *magios), irregular comparative of magnus "large, great" (from PIE root *meg- "great"). From 1590s as "greater in quantity, number, or extent." Used in music (of modes, scales, or chords) since 1690s, on notion of an interval a half-tone "greater" than the minor; of modern modes, "characterized by the use of major tonality throughout," by 1811. Major league, in baseball, is attested by 1892.
1550s, "state or condition of being greater, superiority"(a sense now obsolete), from French majorité (16c.), from Medieval Latin majoritatem (nominative majoritas) "majority," from Latin maior "greater" (see major (adj.)).
Sense of "state of being of full age, age at which the law permits a young person to manage his own affairs," is attested from 1560s. The meaning "greater number or part, more than half of the whole" (of votes, etc.) is by 1690s; that of "the excess of one of two groups of enumerated votes over the other" is by 1743. The majority "the dead" recorded from 1719; hence euphemistic verbal phrase join the majority.
"of greater weight or influence," mid-15c., from Latin praeponderantem (nominative praeponderans), present participle of praeponderare "outweigh; make heavier" (see preponderate). Related: Preponderantly.
c. 1600, "increased," past-participle adjective from augment. The musical sense of "greater by a semitone than a perfect or major interval" (opposite of diminished) is attested by 1825.
Old English mara "greater, relatively greater, more, stronger, mightier," used as a comparative of micel "great" (see mickle), from Proto-Germanic *maiz (source also of Old Saxon mera, Old Norse meiri, Old Frisian mara, Middle Dutch mere, Old High German meriro, German mehr, Gothic maiza), from PIE *meis- (source also of Avestan mazja "greater," Old Irish mor "great," Welsh mawr "great," Greek -moros "great," Oscan mais "more"), perhaps from a root *me- "big."
Sometimes used as an adverb in Old English ("in addition"), but Old English generally used related ma "more" as adverb and noun. This became Middle English mo, but more in this sense began to predominate in later Middle English.
"Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
"I've had nothing yet," Alice replied in an offended tone, "so I can't take more."
"You mean you can't take less," said the Hatter: "it's very easy to take more than nothing."
As a noun, "a greater quantity, amount, or number," in Old English. More and more "larger and larger amounts" is from 12c. More or less "in a greater or lesser degree" is from early 13c.; appended to a statement to indicate nearness but not precision, from 1580s. The more the merrier "the larger the company the greater the enjoyment" is from late 14c. (þe mo þe myryer).
1704, of a letter, "capital;" 1738 as a noun, "a capital letter," from French majuscule (16c.), from Latin maiuscula (littera), fem. of maiusculus "somewhat larger, somewhat greater," diminutive of maior (see major (adj.)).