in·​cum·​ben·​cy | \ in-ˈkəm-bən(t)-sē How to pronounce incumbency (audio) \
plural incumbencies

Definition of incumbency

1 : the sphere of action or period of office of an incumbent
2 : the quality or state of being incumbent
3 : something that is incumbent : duty

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Examples of incumbency in a Sentence

Hundreds of new jobs were created during her incumbency. the advantages of incumbency during an election a politician seeking to keep his incumbency
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Recent Examples on the Web But the party drew attention as pollsters predicted a wave of an anti-incumbency against the current government amid a pandemic that has led to at least 1,000 deaths and 220,000 cases of coronavirus in the state so far. Indrajit Singh, Star Tribune, "Modi's party, allies leading vote in India's Bihar state," 10 Nov. 2020 Then the governor wouldn’t be anointing someone and gifting a huge advantage of incumbency for the election campaign. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Whom should Newsom choose as Kamala Harris’ successor? Himself, Willie Brown says," 23 Nov. 2020 But her advantage of incumbency didn’t help her win over Arizona voters. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, The Arizona Republic, "Martha McSally concedes Arizona Senate special election to Mark Kelly more than a week after winner declared," 13 Nov. 2020 And there’s another thing about the advantage of incumbency. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "If Detroit Lions coaches were on a political campaign, would they be re-elected?," 7 Nov. 2020 But his erratic leadership, his determination to deny the science and flout guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, became a weight around his shoulders that offset the normal advantages of incumbency. Dan Balz, Anchorage Daily News, "Nail-biting, stomach-churning election night ends with cliffhanger," 4 Nov. 2020 The power of incumbency, often decisive in judicial races, appeared to fall short on Tuesday. Rafael Olmeda,, "Nail-biter in Broward judicial race: Incumbent and challenger await recount," 4 Nov. 2020 Cox entered the race nearly 18 months ago with an aura of incumbency, thanks to the support of outgoing Gov. Gary Herbert and his high-profile role in the current administration. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox has commanding lead in Utah governor’s race," 4 Nov. 2020 What if Biden is, by virtue of his age, the least likely Democratic president to get reelected on the strength of incumbency? Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "I Was ‘Never Trump’ in 2016. I’m Still a Conservative. Here’s How I’m Voting," 2 Nov. 2020

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

circa 1608, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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Time Traveler for incumbency

Time Traveler

The first known use of incumbency was circa 1608

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Statistics for incumbency

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Incumbency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce incumbency (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of incumbency

: the time during which a person holds a particular office or position
: the state of holding a particular office or position

More from Merriam-Webster on incumbency

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Nglish: Translation of incumbency for Spanish Speakers

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