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

Definition of incumbency

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

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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 Democrats will pick a person to fill his seat early next year, giving whoever that is some incumbency advantage. Carl Weiser,, "2020 Election: Whew. So that election is over. Now we have a big one in just four months.," 11 Nov. 2019 Hogsett, meanwhile, attempted to avoid the morass of controversy while enjoying the political advantages of incumbency and a deeper pocketbook (Hogsett raised $5.6 million, according to pre-election campaign reports, compared to Merritt's $782,621). Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "'We're not done building yet': Joe Hogsett wins second term as Indianapolis mayor," 5 Nov. 2019 Instead of encouraging free-market innovation and private investment, current government policy discourages commercial-type competition, reinforces incumbency and opposes reforms to improve. Charles Beames For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "America is losing the space race," 17 July 2019 Democrats fear Trump is adding to his incumbency advantage in the 2020 election, where his official campaign is already out-raising Democrats and building a highly sophisticated digital operation. Noah Bierman,, "Trump uses the trappings of the White House for reelection bid to unprecedented degree," 3 July 2019 Todd Eberly, a professor of political science at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an observer of state politics, said Quirk has natural advantages in both incumbency and the size of his war chest. Cody Boteler,, "Incumbent Quirk, with fewer donors, spending and raising more than primary opponent Ruth in county council race," 30 May 2018 Since then, Lipinski has coasted on the strength of incumbency and the prestige of his last name. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "The Resistance Is Turning Its Fire on a Conservative Democrat," 19 Jan. 2018 The ruling party dominated the campaign in all provinces and benefited from the advantages of incumbency. Washington Post, "Mozambique’s opposition Renamo wants re-run of elections," 19 Oct. 2019 The ruling party dominated the campaign in all provinces and benefited from the advantages of incumbency. Tom Bowker, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mozambique’s opposition Renamo wants re-run of elections," 19 Oct. 2019

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 1

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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

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Incumbency.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on incumbency

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for incumbency

Spanish Central: Translation of incumbency

Nglish: Translation of incumbency for Spanish Speakers

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