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


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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 revolving door between the public sector and the special interests is not a new phenomenon in Illinois or elsewhere. Ray Long, chicagotribune.com, "ComEd enjoyed major success in Springfield by hiring lobbyists who were former lawmakers or Madigan staffers. Now the feds are scrutinizing the utility’s practices.," 8 Nov. 2019 One of the most militant and absurdly powerful special interests in the Pacific Northwest is my own cohort, the recreational anglers. Patrick Symmes, Harper's magazine, "The $68,000 Fish," 28 Oct. 2019 Meanwhile, the special interests behind the copycat legislation use their success to solicit donations and recruit other lawmakers to sponsor their bills. USA Today, "These copycat bills on Sharia law and terrorism have no effect. So why do states keep passing them?," 18 July 2019 People have got to stand up and take on the special interests. Time Staff, Time, "Here's What the Candidates Said During Thursday's Dramatic Democratic Presidential Debate," 29 June 2019 The Senate should reject anyone who will instinctively side with powerful special interests over the interests of average Americans. Caitlin Chen And Emily Cadei, sacbee, "'Terrifying': Advocates say abortion, gay rights threatened by Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement," 27 June 2018 Bloomberg's 2020 rivals have accused him of trying to buy the election, although his team insists his strategy allows him to avoid being influenced by any special interests. Arkansas Online, "Bloomberg spending tens of millions more on new ad campaign," 4 Dec. 2019 Florida’s ballot initiative process is seen by many as the way for the public to overcome deep-pocketed special interests. Aric Chokey, sun-sentinel.com, "Voters beware: You have no idea who’s behind that petition they want you to sign," 22 Nov. 2019 As with psychiatrists, psychologists may take a special interest in reproductive mental health during their training and self-identify as reproductive psychologists for that reason. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "Mental Health in Black Moms Is Largely Ignored—5 Ways We Can Improve It," 30 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for special interest

Time Traveler

The first known use of special interest was in 1906

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Statistics for special interest

Last Updated

26 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Special interest.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/special%20interest. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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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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