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

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 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

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

8 Jan 2019

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

More from Merriam-Webster on kingmaker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kingmaker

Nglish: Translation of kingmaker for Spanish Speakers

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Bee Cubed

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!