king·​mak·​er | \ˈkiŋ-ˌmā-kər \

Definition of kingmaker 

: one having great influence over the choice of candidates for political office

Examples of kingmaker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The ultimate kingmaker is likely to be Kazakh tycoon Kenes Rakishev, the biggest shareholder and son-in-law of a former Kazakh deputy prime minister. Thomas Biesheuvel,, "A Crypto Tycoon, Banking Heir and the Mysterious Fight for Gold," 14 May 2018 The Kurdish nationalist vote will be kingmaker The opposition block has excluded Kurdish nationalist HDP in order to avoid alienating the Turkish nationalist CHP and IYI voters. Soner Cagaptay, Time, "Four Things to Watch in Turkey's Elections," 21 June 2018 Analysts said that mostly urban voters turned off by Colombia’s polarizing politics will play kingmaker in the second round. Washington Post, "Conservative, leftist head to contentious runoff in Colombia," 27 May 2018 The Northwest Coalition The Northwest Coalition is another kingmaker in Philadelphia. Holly Otterbein,, "The biggest winners and losers in Pennsylvania's 2018 primary election," 17 May 2018 This looks to have wrecked the media mogul’s hopes of playing the kingmaker by flagging a premier if his party won more votes than the League., "Italy Populists Break Establishment Grip, Quest for Power Opens," 5 Mar. 2018 Nor has Murphy done much to try to win over George E. Norcross III, the South Jersey political kingmaker and insurance executive who worked closely with Christie, say people familiar with the matter. Andrew Seidman,, "Democrats have one-party rule in Trenton. Why can't they agree on taxes?," 13 June 2018 Fiedler beat a candidate supported by Philly’s Electricians union, which for years has been one of the biggest kingmakers in the city, on its home turf. Chris Brennan,, "The left-wing uprising that led to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's victory in N.Y.? It happened first in Pa. | Clout," 6 July 2018 One-time rebel Gustavo Petro got 25 percent support, edging out former Medellin mayor Sergio Fajardo, who could end up being kingmaker following a surprise surge. Christine Armario And Joshua Goodman,, "Colombia set for combative presidential runoff with divisions over peace," 28 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kingmaker.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of kingmaker

1595, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kingmaker

Dictionary Entries near kingmaker

king lory


king mackerel



king mullet

king nut

Statistics for kingmaker

Last Updated

29 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kingmaker

The first known use of kingmaker was in 1595

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for kingmaker



English Language Learners Definition of kingmaker

: a powerful person or group who influences decisions about who will become political candidates

Comments on kingmaker

What made you want to look up kingmaker? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!