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

All of this reinforces the argument that judges should keep out of fights over partisan gerrymanders. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Gerrymander Excuse Implodes," 16 Nov. 2018 In short, a partisan Republican power play, retaliation for the gerrymander ruling and a move that (in one fell swoop) thumbs its nose at citizen action, flips the bird to the state high court and pushes the governor out of the way. John Baer, Philly.com, "An iceberg on the voyage to fairer Pa. elections | John Baer," 16 Apr. 2018 The US Supreme Court recently ruled North Carolina’s congressional maps unconstitutional and is currently considering maps in Wisconsin, Texas, and Maryland (a Democratic gerrymander). Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Exclusive: Republicans are outspending Democrats 5 to 1 in key statehouse races," 30 Oct. 2018 In a divided ruling, the state court held that the map was an unlawful partisan gerrymander meant to maximize Republican electoral success. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Court Rulings End GOP Efforts to Block Voting Map for Pennsylvania," 19 Mar. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Justice Kennedy was widely seen as the swing vote on gerrymandering in a court divided between liberals, who see the practice as unconstitutional, and conservatives, who regard it as a political problem, not a legal one. Michael Wines, New York Times, "Kennedy’s Retirement Could Threaten Efforts to End Partisan Gerrymandering," 30 June 2018 The long-time congressman has bragged about being helped by gerrymandering in his district, which includes western Hamilton County, a land bridge across the northern part of the county and all of red-leaning Warren County. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: 3 takeaways from Ohio's first major post-Trump era election," 9 May 2018 Since 2011, Meehan's district had been badly contorted and criticized as being among the nation's most gerrymandered. CBS News, "GOP congressman who called aide "soulmate" resigns," 27 Apr. 2018 The map of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts is to be in effect for the May 15 primary and substantially overhauls a congressional map widely viewed as among the nation’s most gerrymandered. Washington Post, "Pennsylvania Supreme Court issues new congressional district map," 6 Mar. 2018 Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania’s 7th district has been ranked as one of the 10 most gerrymandered in the country. Chris Morris, Fortune, "After North Carolina, What Other States Could See Their Congressional Districts Redrawn?," 10 Jan. 2018 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

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

10 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on gerrymander

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gerrymander

Nglish: Translation of gerrymander for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gerrymander for Arabic Speakers

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