king·​mak·​er ˈkiŋ-ˌmā-kər How to pronounce kingmaker (audio)
: one having great influence over the choice of candidates for political office

Examples of kingmaker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Led by André Ventura, a rising star of Europe’s radical right movement, Chega looks set to be the kingmaker in what is expected to be a hung parliament. Dominique Soguel, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Mar. 2024 The bulls of the AI world—and its current kingmakers—still hold the high ground. Byryan Hogg, Fortune Europe, 29 Feb. 2024 But in 2024, Republicans will take almost six weeks to get to their last early primary contest in South Carolina, which has often played the role of kingmaker in GOP presidential primaries and arguably wore that mantle for Democrats four years ago. Geoffrey Skelley, ABC News, 11 Dec. 2023 As a member of Parliament, Mr. Zuma would be eligible to be president, or could play kingmaker if the A.N.C. does not win enough seats to form a government — as many political analysts anticipate. Lynsey Chutel, New York Times, 10 Apr. 2024 Wilders recently abandoned his bid to become prime minister, but still has the power to be a political kingmaker, and all three of the parties likely to have seats in the next government campaigned on anti-migrant platforms. Bysarah Jacob, Fortune Europe, 27 Mar. 2024 The event served a dual purpose of exciting the grassroots to vote before Tuesday and reminding the broader electorate of who won the support of the GOP kingmaker. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 19 Mar. 2024 And for onscreen talent, Schneider was a kingmaker, the one who decided who became a star, including Amanda Bynes, and who would have their lines or even character roles cut from a series. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Mar. 2024 The book club swiftly became a literary kingmaker (or queenmaker, usually). Ellie Austin, Fortune, 9 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kingmaker.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1595, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kingmaker was in 1595

Dictionary Entries Near kingmaker

Cite this Entry

“Kingmaker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on kingmaker

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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