Is the term "overwhelming majority" popular in English? Plus, what is the difference between it and "vast majority"?
As adjectives modifying majority, overwhelming and vast are synonymous.
From Dictionary.com, I have bolded the apt meanings:
- that overwhelms; overpowering: The temptation to despair may become overwhelming.
2. so great as to render resistance or opposition useless: an overwhelming majority.
- of very great area or extent; immense: the vast reaches of outer space.
2. of very great size or proportions; huge;enormous: vast piles of rubble left in the wake of the war.
- very great in number, quantity, amount, etc.: vast sums of money.
4. very great in degree, intensity, etc.: an artisan of vast skill.
Both overwhelming majority and vast majority are commonly used in the USA to mean a percentage that is much more than a simple majority (more than 50%). How much more than 50% is purely a matter of opinion, not part of the definition.