gerrymander

noun
ger·​ry·​man·​der | \ ˈjer-ē-ˌman-dər How to pronounce gerrymander (audio) also ˈger-; originally 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 gerrymander (audio) also  ˈger-​ ; originally  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 Their gerrymander locked in a conservative revolution in Wisconsin that began with the Tea Party wave election of 2010. David D. Haynes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: A decade ago, Wisconsin Republicans locked in their power through gerrymandering. Open up this secretive process to the public.," 17 Mar. 2021 The gerrymander proved impregnable in November; Democrats received 46 percent of the statewide vote for State Assembly seats and 47 percent of the State Senate vote, but won only 38 percent of seats in the Assembly and 36 percent in the Senate. New York Times, "In Statehouses, Stolen-Election Myth Fuels a G.O.P. Drive to Rewrite Rules," 27 Feb. 2021 The gerrymander proved impregnable in November; Democrats received 46% of the statewide vote for state Assembly seats and 47% of the state Senate vote but won only 38% of seats in the Assembly and 36% in the Senate. Michael Wines, BostonGlobe.com, "In statehouses, stolen-election myth fuels a GOP drive to rewrite rules," 27 Feb. 2021 Pennsylvania’s Legislature is pushing a gerrymander-style apportionment of State Supreme Court seats via a constitutional amendment that would elect justices by regions rather than statewide. New York Times, "In Statehouses, Stolen-Election Myth Fuels a G.O.P. Drive to Rewrite Rules," 27 Feb. 2021 All those legislatures, which collectively redrew 190 congressional districts, helped produce a congressional map that has been widely regarded as a pro-Republican gerrymander. Steve Lem, The Conversation, "Republicans didn’t lose big in 2020 – they held onto statehouses and the power to influence future elections," 24 Nov. 2020 An aggressive gerrymander might be able to eliminate a downstate Republican district while preserving Cheri Bustos’s district in northwestern Illinois and without weakening Lauren Underwood in the Chicago suburbs. Sean Trende, National Review, "What Redrawn Districts Could Mean for House Control in 2023," 13 Nov. 2020 That may have been slightly offset by a Democratic gerrymander in New Jersey, where the Democrats gained two more seats than their votes justified, but the data is less clear-cut in that state, according to Sam Wang, the project’s director. Washington Post, "Virginia Democrats face choice between idealism and revenge in vote on gerrymandering," 2 Oct. 2020 But the voters who sued over the 2016 map said the new boundaries were still unlawful partisan gerrymanders that violated the state constitution. Washington Post, "Judges: New North Carolina Congress map will be used in 2020," 3 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some have also floated the idea of redrawing district lines during redistricting for this cycle in order to gerrymander Greene out of her seat. Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner, "Whopping fundraising shows Marjorie Taylor Greene isn't going anywhere," 7 Apr. 2021 Earlier this month, the attempt in Pennsylvania to gerrymander its state courts also fell apart. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Right-Wing War on State Courts," 18 Mar. 2021 Both parties gerrymander, but the practice has benefited Republicans more over the past decade. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "Targeting State Restrictions, House Passes Landmark Voting Rights Expansion," 3 Mar. 2021 Earlier this week, West used his weekly missive to the party to urge them to aggressively gerrymander the state’s congressional districts during the next round of post-census redistricting, which is set to begin later this year. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Republican Plot to Rig the 2024 Election," 15 Jan. 2021 The district had previously sent Ron Paul and Tom DeLay to Washington, and DeLay had helped gerrymander it to insure a two-to-one majority of Republicans. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "Are Asian Americans the Last Undecided Voters?," 26 Oct. 2020 In most states, whatever party controls the state legislature determines how those boundaries are drawn, and can use them to gerrymander favorable districts for Congress. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Trump 'army' of poll watchers could frighten voters, incite violence, election officials warn," 14 Oct. 2020 Reply: Wrote about the ability to gerrymander the Pac-12 schedule in a column here. oregonlive, "Canzano: Monday Mailbag calls for restructuring football playoff and sports calendar," 28 Sep. 2020 For years party leaders could gerrymander local voting districts so that incumbents faced less risk of losing. The Economist, "The will of the...whatever Political skulduggery in Missouri," 12 Sep. 2020

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

derivative of gerrrymander entry 1

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Time Traveler for gerrymander

Time Traveler

The first known use of gerrymander was in 1812

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Statistics for gerrymander

Last Updated

29 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gerrymander.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gerrymander. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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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- 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

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