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 alsoˈger-; origˈger- \

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

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 Yet one of the most promising anti-gerrymander efforts may also be among the most imperiled. Michael Wines, New York Times, "Kennedy’s Retirement Could Threaten Efforts to End Partisan Gerrymandering," 30 June 2018 Last week, the court ducked ruling on partisan gerrymandering in separate cases from Wisconsin and Maryland that proposed legal approaches to invalidate gerrymanders. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Supreme Court Upholds Texas District Maps Previously Ruled Discriminatory," 25 June 2018 But the justices have never struck down an extreme partisan gerrymander, largely because there wasn’t a clear test to determine when ordinary redistricting tactics go too far. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "How Texas Republicans Got Away With a Racially Discriminatory Electoral Map," 25 June 2018 Both parties have long engaged in partisan mapmaking, but political gerrymanders have drawn fire from across the political spectrum. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Sidesteps Major Legal Issues in Gerrymandering Cases," 18 June 2018 The district court’s decision was the first from a federal court in more than 30 years to reject a voting map as an unconstitutional gerrymander. Adam Liptak, BostonGlobe.com, "Supreme Court sidesteps decision on gerrymandering," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 With Justice Kennedy on his way out, and the conservative justices unworried by gerrymandering, that day may never come. The Economist, "Justice Kennedy is retiring. What happens now?," 30 June 2018 In the final week of its term, the Supreme Court also sent back to a lower court a decision that Republicans in North Carolina had gerrymandered congressional districts to give their party an unfair advantage. Adam Liptak, BostonGlobe.com, "Justices send clash between florist and gay couple back to lower courts," 25 June 2018 The Supreme Court on Monday sent back to a lower court a decision that Republicans in North Carolina had gerrymandered the state's congressional districts to give their party an unfair advantage. Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, "Supreme Court sends case on North Carolina gerrymandering back to lower court," 25 June 2018 Latinx folks tend to be lumped together in a monolith, and the way that the district has gerrymandered Mexican and Puerto Rican communities together is kind of a prime example of that. Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader, "‘Chuy’ García vows to keep fighting Chicago machine from Congress," 13 Mar. 2018 Founded in 2016, the NDRC is a not-for-profit 527 organization that combats gerrymandering through legal action, grassroots mobilization and elections, according to the group's website. Kristine Guillaume, CBS News, "Obama stars in promo for Eric Holder's anti-gerrymandering group," 11 July 2018 Through gerrymandering Republicans worked to pack more blacks into fewer of Georgia’s Congressional districts, making most other districts whiter. Christopher Sellers, Vox, "How Republicans came to embrace anti-environmentalism," 6 July 2018 Some, such as marijuana legalization, anti-gerrymandering efforts and gambling in casinos, were sparked by lawmakers' inaction or slow action. Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati.com, "Dialysis to duels: Why Ohio keeps voting on odd, complicated ballot issues," 5 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.

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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

Noun

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

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Gerrhosauridae

Gerridae

Gerry

gerrymander

gers

gersdorffite

gersh

Statistics for gerrymander

Last Updated

3 Sep 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

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