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

Definition of carpetbagger

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

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 That has brought accusations that McCormick is a carpetbagger and a sellout to China. Marc Levy, ajc, 15 Mar. 2022 Even taking a big chunk of money from out of state can make a gubernatorial candidate seem like a carpetbagger. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 25 Jan. 2022 Accusations of being a carpetbagger became a central attack against him, but the Republican easily won the party's nomination and ran a tight race against Shaheen, losing by around 3 percentage points. Dan Merica, CNN, 10 Dec. 2021 The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has accused her of being a carpetbagger and political opportunist. Gabriel T. Rubin, WSJ, 8 Oct. 2021 Boebert, meanwhile, is already painting her potential opponent as a carpetbagger. Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2021 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, 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, 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, 9 Nov. 2020 See More

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.

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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Cite this Entry

“Carpetbagger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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