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

That creates an opening for powerful special interests to influence campaigns in alignment with backwards facing policies, like climate change denial and restricting women’s rights. Marie Claire, "Why Your Vote Is More Important This Year Than Ever Before," 16 Oct. 2018 Well, Martha, my opponent has got a lot of special interest money. Fox News, "Schlapp: Trump wants nominee who will uphold Constitution," 28 June 2018 America’s vital interest in space lost out to special interests in Washington, except, of course, for the senators and congressmen here. BostonGlobe.com, "Read Trump’s full remarks on immigration, ‘Space Force’," 18 June 2018 This will be where all the special interest money pours in. Amy Chance, sacbee, "California Influencers: What did we learn from the June primary election, and why?," 11 June 2018 Its intent was to root out special interest money in state elections and free candidates from the fundraising grind. Neil Vigdor, courant.com, "The Ins And Outs Of Public Campaign Financing In Connecticut," 5 June 2018 But as a senator, Colbeck hasn't turned away special interest money. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "He's Michigan's most conservative Republican candidate for governor," 11 May 2018 Kardashian West took special interest in Johnson's case back in October. refinery29.com, "Trump Grants Clemency To 63-Year-Old Woman After Meeting Kim Kardashian West," 6 June 2018 The charter amendment, sponsored by Councilman Kristerfer Burnett, would allow the city to provide matching funds for small donations for qualifying candidates who pledge not to accept large donations or special interest money. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "Groups call on Mayor Pugh to support public financing of Baltimore elections," 6 July 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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Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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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

: 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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Comments on special interest

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by force of circumstances

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