king·​mak·​er | \ ˈkiŋ-ˌmā-kər How to pronounce kingmaker (audio) \

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

Mabuza’s province of Mpumalanga had the second-highest number of voting delegates to the ANC’s December conference, which gave him a kingmaker role. Benjamin H. Bradlow, Washington Post, "South Africa’s ruling party recalled President Zuma. But the ANC faces 3 big challenges.," 14 Feb. 2018 The Post is also reporting that the ouster came at Kelly's request. — Handicapping Pruitt's odds at a comeback: The controversies that led to Pruitt’s fall may not mean the end of his career potential in Oklahoma, kingmakers in his home state say. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: With Scott Pruitt gone, green groups now turn the spotlight on Ryan Zinke," 9 July 2018 Any Silicon Valley titans envisioning themselves as political kingmakers should pay close attention. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Reid Hoffman is learning an early rule of being a megadonor: It’s hard to keep track of your money," 26 Dec. 2018 Trump’s willingness to serve as a kingmaker in Republican contests has allowed him to demand more loyalty within a party that once openly considered abandoning him during the final weeks of the 2016 campaign. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Trump flexing his political muscles with GOP endorsements," 23 July 2018 Rather, the carrier ended up acting like a sort of kingmaker. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "How Android got big," 24 Oct. 2018 The best the Liberals can hope for is for no one to win a majority, giving Wynne’s party scope to be kingmaker for the next government. Josh Wingrove,, "Favored in Ontario’s Election: A Trump-Like Populist Dangling Tax Cuts," 7 June 2018 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

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.

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First Known Use of kingmaker

1595, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near kingmaker

king lory


king mackerel



king mullet

king nut

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Time Traveler for kingmaker

The first known use of kingmaker was in 1595

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English Language Learners Definition of kingmaker

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kingmaker

Nglish: Translation of kingmaker for Spanish Speakers

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marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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