car·​pet·​bag·​ger | \ ˈkär-pət-ˌba-gər How to pronounce carpetbagger (audio) \

Definition of carpetbagger

1 : a Northerner in the South after the American Civil War usually seeking private gain under the reconstruction governments
2 : outsider especially : a nonresident or new resident who seeks private gain from an area often by meddling in its business or politics

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Other Words from carpetbagger

carpetbaggery \ ˈkär-​pət-​ˌba-​g(ə-​)rē How to pronounce carpetbagger (audio) \ noun

Examples of carpetbagger in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By the time Marty left Boston a little more than a decade later, the outsider had become unusually admired for an eternal carpetbagger. Washington Post, "‘Spotlight’ made Marty Baron a star. It also made him my friend.," 26 Feb. 2021 Greene purchased a home in Rome to counteract criticism during the primary that the former Alpharetta resident was a carpetbagger without real ties to the district. Jeremy Redmon, ajc, "To her N. Georgia constituents, Greene is either an ‘embarrassment’ or a conservative champion," 4 Feb. 2021 Democrats hoped that Gross’s bona fides as a homegrown Alaskan would play well against their efforts to portray Ohio-bred Sullivan as a political carpetbagger from the Lower 48 (as the continental U.S. is known up here). Larry Persily, The New Republic, "Alaska Offers Biden the Slimmest of Hopes for a Democratic Senate," 9 Nov. 2020 Unfortunately, the majority of Covid-19 carpetbaggers are at the very least opportunists, and sometimes nefarious propagators of misinformation. C. Brandon Ogbunu, Wired, "Don't Be Fooled by Covid-19 Carpetbaggers," 5 Apr. 2020 Flores endorsed Waco businesswoman Renee Swann, labeling Sessions a carpetbagger. Paul Cobler, Dallas News, "Texans will have their say Tuesday on party nominees for U.S. Senate, 36 congressional districts," 3 Mar. 2020 Former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville has been painted by the Jeff Sessions campaign in recent days as a carpetbagger who voted in Florida during the midterm elections less than two years ago. al, "‘Florida man’? Or Alabama’s next senator? Tuberville’s residency roils campaign," 10 Mar. 2020 Whitney, 45, suggested his opponents were little more than carpetbaggers and stressed his longtime residence in Milwaukee, where his children attend Milwaukee Public Schools. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blomme and Dedinsky, 2 candidates who moved to Milwaukee County, advance in judicial race," 18 Feb. 2020 Ukraine’s allure for American carpetbaggers, political consultants and adventurers has put it at the center of not just one but now two presidential elections in the United States and a host of second-tier scandals. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "‘The New Berlin Wall’: Why Ukraine Is Central to the Scandal," 27 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carpetbagger.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of carpetbagger

1867, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for carpetbagger

from their carrying all their belongings in carpetbags

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Time Traveler for carpetbagger

Time Traveler

The first known use of carpetbagger was in 1867

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Statistics for carpetbagger

Last Updated

13 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Carpetbagger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of carpetbagger

: a person from the northern United States who went to the South after the American Civil War to make money
: a political candidate who runs for office in a place where he or she has lived only for a short time

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