# Is it appropriate to use the word “most” to describe 60% of something? [duplicate]

A person watched 60% of a movie. Is it appropriate to say the person watched most of the movie?

• Yes, anything over 52.7% is fine. – Hot Licks Mar 1 '16 at 1:37
• What did you find in a dictionary for "most"? – GEdgar Mar 1 '16 at 1:37
• I don't think so. 60% is just a little over half. But I guess it depends. – sooeithdk Mar 1 '16 at 1:39
• Only if you want to mislead some people into thinking that considerably more people saw the movie while maintaining plausible deniability. "Three fifth", "almost two-thirds" or "between one half and two-thirds" would be more precise without resorting to exact percentages. – A.S. Mar 1 '16 at 2:58

Yes. "Most" describes a majority, and anything above 50℅ is accepted as a majority.

• As in "most human beings are women." ;-) – DaveM Mar 1 '16 at 11:52

In general, you'll find that words of this nature have widely subjective definitions. Ask Bob, Sue, and Tom, and you might get something like this:

Word             Bob     Sue     Tom
Almost None < 2%   < 10% ---------
A Bit              < 5%   < 20% ---------
A Little           < 10% < 30% ---------
Some             < 50% < 40% < 30%
Half               < 60% < 70% < 70%
Most              < 90% < 80% < 100%
Almost All      < 98% < 90% ---------

In this case, Tom might consider the first four words to be the same, then the last two words to be the same. Then there are people who consider "most" to be "at least 50%". Then there are some who simply use the word to mean "more than other options". (E.g., "most cars are Toyotas" could mean "there are more Toyotas than any other brand on the road", even if Toyota is only 20% of the market. [No idea what the actual percentage is.])

The general consensus seems to be that "most" could mean anything from "over 50%" to "nearly 100%", but that's a pretty wide range of definitions. You'd be correct using "most" to describe 60% of a movie, but the meaning would be somewhat ambiguous simply because so many people interpret the word so many ways.