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

Clyburn, who is the most powerful African American in the House, holds the position of a political kingmaker in the state. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Democratic candidates pitch South Carolina voters at fish fry," 22 June 2019 Tillery fancies himself a kingmaker and promises a get-out-the-vote effort to genuflecting politicos. Jason Williams,, "PX column: Why we should be concerned about former Cincinnati Mayor Dwight Tillery's text messages to City Council," 12 June 2019 The army, which grew out of the fighting force that won Algeria's independence from France in 1962, was long seen as the kingmaker in presidential elections. Aomar Ouali And Elaine Ganley, Fox News, "Algerian generals, others fired without explanation," 12 Sep. 2018 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

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

Statistics for kingmaker

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on kingmaker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kingmaker

Nglish: Translation of kingmaker for Spanish Speakers

Comments on kingmaker

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to form ideas or theories about something

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