late 14c., pluralite, "state of being more than one; a number greater than one," from Old French pluralite (14c.), from Late Latin pluralitatem (nominative pluralitas) "the plural number," from Latin pluralis "of or belonging to more than one" (see plural). Meaning "fact of there being many, multitude" is from mid-15c. Church sense of "holding of two or more offices concurrently" is from mid-14c. Meaning "greater number, more than half" is from 1570s but is etymologically improper, perhaps modeled on majority. U.S. sense of "excess of votes for the candidate who receives the most over those of rival candidate(s)," especially when none has an absolute majority, is from 1828.