special interest


Definition of special interest

: a person or group seeking to influence legislative or government policy to further often narrowly defined interests especially : lobby

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Synonyms for special interest


interest, interest group, pressure group

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Examples of special interest in a Sentence

promised that as governor he would never be beholden to special interests

Recent Examples on the Web

The entrepreneur frames the fight as one pitting reformers against special interests invested in a low turnout that makes lawmakers unaccountable and easy to corrupt. Evan Halper, courant.com, "Vote-by-phone tech trend alarms security experts," 5 June 2019 Most proprietors of the American listening bars are candidly inspired by the kissaten, with their individually defining special interests — jazz, classical, noise and drone music, and so forth. Ben Ratliff, New York Times, "Learning to Listen, in a Los Angeles Cafe Built for Vinyl," 3 June 2019 Features a selection of gift-quality books in all categories, cookbooks, vintage children's literature, decorating and design and or special interest history books. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "What to do around Louisville this week: Janet Jackson, Santa, speakeasy party & more," 29 Nov. 2017 Because that’s who budgets are for, not special interest, not legislators, not the system. Erica L. Green, New York Times, "Democrats Tell DeVos Her ‘Head Is in the Sand’ on Racial Bias," 20 Mar. 2018 Burtt gets into his own personal history, which is fascinating, but here are a few choices that might be of special interest to PopMech readers. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Real World Stuff Behind Star Wars' Iconic Sounds," 3 Apr. 2019 Putting progressive ideals and special interests ahead of working people is a familiar pattern in Austin. John Daniel Davidson, WSJ, "Austin Votes to Keep the Books Closed," 30 Nov. 2018 This is not a superintendent who is a privatizer, corporatist, person working for special interests. Tawnell D. Hobbs, WSJ, "Los Angeles Teachers, School District Announce Deal to End Weeklong Strike," 22 Jan. 2019 And in collapsing Trump’s scandals and the GOP agenda into a single narrative about Republicans standing for elite special interests — and Democrats standing for ordinary Americans — the party has found a strong (and simple) campaign message. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Democrats Have Finally Found Their Midterm Message," 22 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'special interest.' 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 special interest

1906, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for special interest

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for special interest

The first known use of special interest was in 1906

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More Definitions for special interest

special interest


English Language Learners Definition of special interest

chiefly US : a group that tries to influence the people who run a government in order to help a particular business, cause, industry, etc.

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