electoral college


Definition of electoral college

: a body of electors especially : one that elects the president and vice president of the U.S.

Examples of electoral college in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Hillary Clinton wants to get rid of the electoral college altogether. Z. Byron Wolf, CNN, "The other reason to split up California that nobody is talking about," 17 Apr. 2018 My progressive vision seeks to enhance democratic governance by changing the electoral college, ending partisan gerrymandering, and combating race discrimination in voting. Sean Illing, Vox, "Why the Constitution is an inherently progressive document," 18 Dec. 2018 Any Democratic presidential candidate who could pick up its 38 electoral college votes and add them to those of California, New York and Massachusetts would open up many possible paths to the White House. The Economist, "Demography is not destinyBuilding a multiracial coalition is more difficult than it seems," 12 July 2018 Both times, Stein was unable to secure any electoral votes from the electoral college, the body of electors appointed to cast votes on behalf of states in presidential elections. Sarah Emily Baum, Teen Vogue, "Why Do Candidates Run for Office When There’s Little Chance They Can Win?," 7 Nov. 2018 Researchers estimated that if renter turnout had matched homeowner turnout in 2016, Mrs. Clinton could have won an electoral college victory and the presidency. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "Renters Could Be an Emerging Swing Vote This Election," 5 Nov. 2018 Santorum added that picking Hardiman could help Trump bolster his support in Pennsylvania, a crucial state in his electoral college victory in 2016 and a 2020 battleground. Author: Robert Costa, David Weigel, Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump weighs top picks for Supreme Court amid last-minute maneuvering," 8 July 2018 The electoral college is one of the very worst features of American democracy, a vestigial mechanism that effectively reduces presidential contests to a few swing states. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Connecticut Joins Effort to Overturn Electoral College," 6 May 2018 In two of the five elections for 21st-century presidents, the minority won the electoral college. The Economist, "American democracy’s built-in bias towards rural Republicans," 12 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of electoral college

1677, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about electoral college

Dictionary Entries near electoral college




electoral college




Statistics for electoral college

Last Updated

30 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for electoral college

The first known use of electoral college was in 1677

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for electoral college

electoral college

noun, often capitalized E&C
elec·​tor·​al college

Legal Definition of electoral college

: a body of electors specifically : the body of electors chosen from each state to elect the president and vice president of the U.S.

Note: Under Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, each state chooses electors in the same number that the state has senators and representatives. The electors have the discretion to choose the candidate they vote for, but in practice the electors vote for the candidate that wins the most votes in their respective states. In all the states except Maine, the candidate that wins a plurality of the popular votes wins all of the state's electoral votes.

More from Merriam-Webster on electoral college

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about electoral college

Comments on electoral college

What made you want to look up electoral college? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a secret plot to overthrow a government

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!