gerrymander

noun
ger·​ry·​man·​der | \ ˈjer-ē-ˌman-dər How to pronounce gerrymander (audio) also ˈger-; orig ˈger- How to pronounce gerrymander (audio) \

Definition of gerrymander

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or method of gerrymandering
2 : a district or pattern of districts varying greatly in size or population as a result of gerrymandering three new gerrymanders

gerrymander

verb
gerrymandered; gerrymandering\ ˈjer-​ē-​ˌman-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce gerrymandering (audio) also  ˈger-​ ; orig  ˈger-​ \; gerrymanders

Definition of gerrymander (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to divide or arrange (a territorial unit) into election districts in a way that gives one political party an unfair advantage : to subject to gerrymandering The government gerrymandered urban districts to create rural majorities.— Matthew Reiss
2 : to divide or arrange (an area) into political units to give special advantages to one group gerrymander a school district

Examples of gerrymander in a Sentence

Verb

gerrymandering urban districts to give rural voters a majority

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With recent decisions in Ohio and Michigan, federal courts in five states have struck down maps as partisan gerrymanders. Robert Barnes, BostonGlobe.com, "Supreme Court says federal courts don’t have role in deciding gerrymandering claims," 27 June 2019 New congressional maps created in the gerrymander case are a step toward fairer elections. John Baer, Philly.com, "An iceberg on the voyage to fairer Pa. elections | John Baer," 16 Apr. 2018 One decision failed to stop the drive toward increasingly partisan gerrymanders, and the other temporarily blocked the Trump Administration’s attempt to leverage the decennial United States Census for partisan advantage. Adam Eichen, The New Republic, "Restoring Democracy is Not Open to Debate," 2 July 2019 But voters will have more tools and awareness to catch gerrymanders in the act than ever before. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Big Data Supercharged Gerrymandering. It Could Help Stop It, Too," 28 June 2019 The Supreme Court, however, has never struck down a partisan gerrymander. David G. Savage, Anchorage Daily News, "With political power at stake, Supreme Court is set to rule on gerrymandering and the census," 8 June 2019 Republicans in Pennsylvania, reeling after the state Supreme Court struck down their old congressional maps as a partisan gerrymander, are gearing up for 2018 by raising about $4.1 million, compared to $1.4 million raised by Democrats. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Exclusive: Republicans are outspending Democrats 5 to 1 in key statehouse races," 30 Oct. 2018 Recall how a liberal majority on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this year struck down the GOP legislature’s Congressional map as a partisan gerrymander and redrew it in a way that gives Democrats a shot at gaining five House seats. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Battle of the Statehouses," 23 Oct. 2018 The North Carolina decision, issued by a three-judge Federal District Court panel last week, was the first from a federal court to strike down a congressional map as a partisan gerrymander. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Nobody Knows How to Play This Game Anymore," 19 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Yet gerrymandering’s long history should not be mistaken for inevitability. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "The Supreme Court Just Legitimized a Cornerstone Element of Voter Suppression," 3 July 2019 Ohio's 1st Congressional District is gerrymandered to favor the Republicans. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: Washington Republicans call little-known Greater Cincinnati Democrat a 'socialist loser.' Why that might be a losing message," 2 July 2019 The cases concerned two instances of redistricting, one in North Carolina, where plaintiffs said the map was gerrymandered to favor Republicans, and another in Maryland, where plaintiffs said it was designed to favor Democrats. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Big Data Supercharged Gerrymandering. It Could Help Stop It, Too," 28 June 2019 After a legal challenge, state lawmakers and legislative employees were ordered to release damning emails that helped advocates prove the state’s voting maps were racially gerrymandered. Lauren Mcgaughy, Dallas News, "'Hide the evidence': New Texas law may help GOP keep secrets about its redistricting strategy," 28 June 2019 Alabama, for example, has been gerrymandered quite a bit. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Pod Save America," 17 May 2019 His party is further shored up by gerrymandering, giving it a structural advantage in gaining and keeping power, including a seven percentage-point head start in the House of Representatives. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "A Democracy Disappears," 13 Apr. 2018 Judges in a number of states have recently thrown out election maps, arguing they are gerrymandered to the point of being unconstitutional. The New York Times, New York Times, "A Flurry of Courts Have Ruled on Election Maps. Here’s What They’ve Said.," 29 Jan. 2018 Many experts, including me, had hoped the Supreme Court would declare a standard for finding districts had been unconstitutionally gerrymandered for partisan advantage that looked at effects statewide. Bernard Grofman, Washington Post, "This might be the way to prove partisan gerrymandering, according to the new Supreme Court standard," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gerrymander.' 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 gerrymander

Noun

1812, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1812, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gerrymander

Noun and Verb

Elbridge Gerry + salamander; from the shape of an election district formed during Gerry's governorship of Massachusetts

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gerrymander

Statistics for gerrymander

Last Updated

23 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gerrymander

The first known use of gerrymander was in 1812

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gerrymander

gerrymander

verb

English Language Learners Definition of gerrymander

: to divide (a state, school district, etc.) into political units that give one group an unfair advantage

gerrymander

noun
ger·​ry·​man·​der | \ ˈjer-ē-ˌman-dər also and originally ˈger-ē- How to pronounce gerrymander (audio) \

Legal Definition of gerrymander

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or method of gerrymandering
2 : a district or pattern of districts varying greatly in size or population as a result of gerrymandering

gerrymander

transitive verb
gerrymandered; gerrymandering

Legal Definition of gerrymander (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to divide (a territorial unit) into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible
2 : to divide (an area) into political units to give special advantages to one group gerrymander a school district

History and Etymology for gerrymander

Noun

Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814) + salamander; from the shape of an election district formed during Gerry's governorship of Massachusetts

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on gerrymander

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

WORD OF THE DAY

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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