gerrymander

noun
ger·​ry·​man·​der | \ˈjer-ē-ˌman-dər also ˈger-; orig ˈger- \

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 also  ˈger-​ ; orig  ˈger-​ \

Definition of gerrymander (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to divide or arrange (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 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

For 14 years, as partisan gerrymanders across the country grew more extreme, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy came to symbolize hopes that the Supreme Court would eventually rein them in. Michael Wines, New York Times, "Kennedy’s Retirement Could Threaten Efforts to End Partisan Gerrymandering," 30 June 2018 But the same technology also makes gerrymanders more transparent. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin redistricting: Here's what you need to know about imminent Supreme Court ruling," 13 June 2018 Back in 2004, the court rejected a challenge to a political gerrymander in Pennsylvania. CNN, "The Anthony Kennedy watch returns: Will he stay or will he go?," 1 Apr. 2018 Voters are far more polarized, which makes gerrymanders more reliable and enduring because voting patterns are more stable and easier to predict. Richard Pildes, Washington Post, "Why gerrymandering is going to get even worse," 26 Apr. 2018 Image Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primaries are the opening act in a drama that Democrats nationally are eagerly watching: Who will win under new congressional maps that undo a Republican gerrymander? New York Times, "Pennsylvania’s Primary: Congressional Races to Watch," 14 May 2018 North Carolina has a past at the Supreme Court, with redistricting plans struck down as racial gerrymanders. Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, "Supreme Court sends case on North Carolina gerrymandering back to lower court," 25 June 2018 In 2004, the court rejected a claim that a Pennsylvania gerrymander was too partisan, though Justice Anthony Kennedy indicated such a lawsuit might succeed if the right kind of proof came along. NBC News, "Supreme Court deals setback to political reformers trying to stop gerrymandering," 18 June 2018 The Supreme Court has never struck down a voting district as a gerrymander. Adam Liptak, BostonGlobe.com, "Supreme Court sidesteps decision on gerrymandering," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The race was an uphill battle from the start—North Carolina’s districts have already been deemed too gerrymandered by the courts. Jenny Kaplan, Glamour, "I Watched My Mom Lose on Election Day. Here's What We Won.," 7 Nov. 2018 The Supreme Court sent challenges to various forms of gerrymandering back down to the lower courts in its recent term, rather than issuing a firm ruling. The Economist, "America’s electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over Democrats," 12 July 2018 On Saturday, Parliament signed off on a redrawing of voting districts, prompting cries of gerrymandering from opposition parties. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "As Malaysia Moves to Ban ‘Fake News,’ Worries About Who Decides the Truth," 2 Apr. 2018 But a 5-4 majority on Monday pushed back hard against the left’s gambit in Texas to use the law to racially gerrymander legislative districts. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Racial Gerrymanders Rebuked," 25 June 2018 Michigan’s 9th District, covering parts of Macomb and Oakland counties, was gerrymandered in 2011 in such a way as to force then-U.S. Rep. Gary Peters — now a U.S. senator — into Sandy Levin’s district, concentrating Democratic votes. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Andy Levin looks to take dad Sander Levin's seat in Congress," 13 July 2018 Heavily gerrymandered, the district is overwhelmingly white and went for Trump by 33.4 points in a state where Trump won overall by 8. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Meet the Democrat trying to unseat scandal-plagued Rep. Jim Jordan in his heavily Republican district," 11 July 2018 Unlike the years of litigations and appeals might have one think, figuring out whether a district is gerrymandered is pretty simple. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Ranking Texas' most gerrymandered districts," 25 June 2018 The Fifth District, like all of Pennsylvania’s congressional districts, was newly formed this year after the state Supreme Court struck down the former map as unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor Republicans. Holly Otterbein, Philly.com, "Mary Gay Scanlon wins Democratic U.S. House primary in Pa. 5," 15 May 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.

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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

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

Verb

see gerrymander entry 1

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Gerrhosauridae

Gerridae

Gerry

gerrymander

gers

gersdorffite

gersh

Statistics for gerrymander

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gerrymander

The first known use of gerrymander was in 1812

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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- \

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

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