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 That deal offered Facebook a crucial foothold in India's fast-growing internet market and further cemented Ambani's position as a kingmaker in the region. Rishi Iyengar, CNN, "Asia's richest man gets $1.5 billion from Saudi Arabia for his tech war chest," 18 June 2020 The longtime pastor was larger than life — both in the church and in the community — a brilliant theologian, a thoughtful and kind minister, a respected civic leader and a kingmaker. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "At pivotal moment, Richie Butler takes the pulpit at black Dallas church once led by the iconic Zan Holmes," 12 June 2020 Associated Press Limbaugh says he’s been diagnosed with lung cancer Conservative radio host and Republican kingmaker Rush Limbaugh said he’s been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer., "Trump mistakenly congratulates Kansas on Super Bowl win," 3 Feb. 2020 West German governments tended to swing between centre-left (the SPD) and, more often, centre-right (the CDU, plus their Bavarian sister party, the CSU), with the FDP usually acting as kingmaker. The Economist, "The splintering states A pact with the far right in Thuringia rattles German politics," 6 Feb. 2020 In South Carolina, his relationships with former President Barack Obama and Representative James E. Clyburn, the highest-ranking black member of Congress and a kingmaker in the state’s primary, endeared him to black voters. New York Times, "How We Got to Super Tuesday: 6 Campaigns in Photos," 11 Mar. 2020 Attracting a big slice of that vote is a major reason that Biden pursued the endorsement of Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., a legendary South Carolina kingmaker and the highest-ranking African-American in Congress. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Democrats face a crucial test in the South Carolina primary: Can they energize the African-American vote?," 29 Feb. 2020 On Wednesday, James Clyburn, the top black Democrat in the House and South Carolina’s most important kingmaker, threw his backing Biden’s way and cemented a likely insurmountable leg-up. Time, "Mojo: Biden Finds His Confidence in South Carolina, But is it Too Late?," 28 Feb. 2020 All eyes are on Avigdor Liberman, a former ally of Mr. Netanyahu who is now a potential kingmaker. New York Times, "The Israel Election (Round 3): Here’s What You Need to Know," 2 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for kingmaker

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The first known use of kingmaker was in 1595

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Statistics for kingmaker

Last Updated

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kingmaker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce kingmaker (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of kingmaker

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

More from Merriam-Webster on kingmaker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kingmaker

Nglish: Translation of kingmaker for Spanish Speakers

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