1550s, "condition of being greater, superiority," from Middle 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" is attested from 1560s; meaning "greater number or part" (of votes, etc.) first recorded 1690s. The majority "the dead" recorded from 1719; hence euphemistic verbal phrase join the majority.