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 carpetbaggery (audio) \ noun

Examples of carpetbagger in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Scathing, personal attacks certainly did their damage to state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who was portrayed as an ethically challenged carpetbagger by his rivals, Rep. Evan Jenkins and businessman Don Blankenship. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Power Rankings: Not so peachy primaries," 9 July 2018 But his loyal following has challenged Cox at every turn, dismissing him as a carpetbagger and a secret liberal. Alexei Koseff, sacbee, "Who is John Cox? Trump-backed Republican faces Newsom in California's governor race," 6 June 2018 Meanwhile, backers of Villaraigosa — who is scrapping with Cox for the second spot in the primary — are airing an ad on Fox News and other stations that paints Cox as a Chicago carpetbagger and onetime Democrat who can't win elections. Phil Willon,, "Trump endorses Republican John Cox for California governor," 19 May 2018 Rosendale moved to Montana from Maryland nearly 20 years ago, but Fagg is a fourth-generation Montanan and is painting Rosendale as a carpetbagger. Tara Golshan, Vox, "June 5 primary: live results for key races in California, New Jersey, South Dakota, New Mexico, Iowa, and Montana," 5 June 2018 In his race against the incumbent, Republican senator Kenneth Keating, Bobby was called a carpetbagger from Massachusetts and proved to be a flat public speaker. Time, "Robert F. Kennedy Was Killed While Campaigning for President. Here's What Drove Him to Run," 5 June 2018 Doesn’t carpetbagger Scott know by now that a real Floridian doesn’t get hysterical over summer rain and squalls? Fabiola Santiago, miamiherald, "Memo to Gov. Rick Scott: A real Floridian doesn’t get hysterical over rain and squalls," 29 May 2018 Republicans are expected to attack Mr. Wallace as a carpetbagger who only moved back to the district last year from Maryland and has not voted there in decades. New York Times, "Pennsylvania Primaries Deliver Strong Wins for Democratic Women," 15 May 2018 Blankenship’s first target was Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, whom Blankenship derided as a carpetbagger and a phony. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Ready to rumble in West Virginia," 1 May 2018

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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The first known use of carpetbagger was in 1867

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on carpetbagger

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carpetbagger Encyclopedia article about carpetbagger

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to corrupt or become corrupted

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