car·​pet·​bag·​ger ˈkär-pət-ˌba-gər How to pronounce carpetbagger (audio)
plural carpetbaggers
disapproving : a Northerner in the South after the American Civil War usually seeking private gain under the Reconstruction governments
disapproving : outsider
especially : a nonresident or new resident who seeks private gain from an area often by meddling in its business or politics
carpetbaggery noun

Examples of carpetbagger in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The infighting among psychedelic stakeholders and activists only benefits the corporate carpetbaggers. Robert Johnson, Rolling Stone, 27 Mar. 2023 Dan Rodimer is a shameless carpetbagger. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, 19 Mar. 2021 Across town, Republican S.B. Packard, decried as a carpetbagger, was sworn in at the Cabildo along with his competing government. Mike Scott,, 17 Aug. 2020 Despite his lingering health challenges, Fetterman railed against Oz and castigated the former New Jersey resident as an ultrawealthy carpetbagger who will say or do anything to get elected. Marc Levy,, 5 Nov. 2022 Others felt the abrupt closure cemented his legacy in the Rogue Valley as a right-wing carpetbagger who didn’t much care that his misguided theories killed off the paper. oregonlive, 29 Jan. 2023 McKee has labeled Kalus a carpetbagger who only registered to vote in Rhode Island earlier this year, after spending several years living in Florida and Illinois. Globe Columnist,, 6 Oct. 2022 Fetterman, still recovering from the effects of a stroke, painted the untested Oz as an elite carpetbagger. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2022 Biden, who was raised in Scranton and turns 80 this month, needled Oz as a sort of carpetbagger as Fetterman has throughout the campaign. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 6 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carpetbagger.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from their carrying all their belongings in carpetbags

First Known Use

1867, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of carpetbagger was in 1867

Dictionary Entries Near carpetbagger

Cite this Entry

“Carpetbagger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


car·​pet·​bag·​ger ˈkär-pət-ˌbag-ər How to pronounce carpetbagger (audio)
: a Northerner in the South after the American Civil War usually seeking private gain under the reconstruction governments

More from Merriam-Webster on carpetbagger

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