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

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 The advantages of incumbency — while not insurmountable — are real. Adrian Walker,, 7 Jan. 2022 Senate candidates who won't have the power of incumbency have also announced sizable hauls from 2021. Dan Merica, CNN, 7 Jan. 2022 Such early resignations can give incumbency advantage to the successor picked by PCs, opponents argue. Kaitlin Lange, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Oct. 2021 And the incumbency advantage may be enhanced in a COVID-19 pandemic, when traditional grassroots campaigning of house parties and canvassing door-to-door are much less of a factor., 2 Apr. 2021 Cherfilus-McCormick will be running for a full term with the advantages of incumbency. Anthony Man,, 6 Dec. 2021 In the November 2nd election for New Jersey’s Third Senate District, the Democrat, Steve Sweeney, had twenty years of incumbency on his side, including twelve years as State Senate president—the longest tenure in that position in state history. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, 15 Nov. 2021 For Ramirez, a victory on Tuesday would have given him the mantle of incumbency. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, 4 Nov. 2021 Murphy has been able to deliver on many liberal priorities, like expanding government funding for widespread prekindergarten and community college, and has the advantage of incumbency that McAuliffe lacks. Nicholas Riccardi, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Nov. 2021

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

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The first known use of incumbency was circa 1608

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Incumbency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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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

Nglish: Translation of incumbency for Spanish Speakers


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