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

Both are also rhetorical devices designed to cloak the schemes of special interests in the apparel of popular sovereignty. John Hood, National Review, "New Nationalists Make Three Big Bets," 28 Aug. 2019 More than $1 million, raised from Statehouse lobbyists, industry leaders and special interest groups, flowed to The Greenbrier for inaugural expenses. Ken Ward Jr., ProPublica, "Lawmakers Call for Ethics Reform to Deal With Billionaire Resort-Owning Governor," 21 Aug. 2019 Taxpaying citizens or the special interest groups who will move elsewhere once Denver is a concrete jungle? Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: No unity in the analysis of Mueller testimony (7/28/19)," 28 July 2019 The other half are selected by special interest groups—such as the financial and real estate professions—meaning that the body tends to be controlled by a mostly pro-Beijing business elite rather than by voters. Time, "'Whenever There’s Trouble He Rushes There.' Meet Legislator Roy Kwong, the God of Hong Kong Protests," 20 July 2019 Booker is one of several Democratic presidential candidates who have tried to keep distance between themselves and special interest money and support. NBC News, "Booker endorsement demonstrates tough balancing act for candidates," 2 Aug. 2019 And one of them, 39-year-old human rights lawyer Yasmine Taeb, has painted Saslaw as too conservative and too cozy with special interests. CBS News, "Virginia holds primary election as political watchers look for 2020 trends," 11 June 2019 The power of special interests in Oregon politics, thanks in large part to the state’s lack of campaign contribution limits, was a hot topic in the Legislature this year. oregonlive.com, "Oregon lawmakers wrap up buzzer-beating 2019 session," 30 June 2019 One of those challengers, 39-year-old human rights lawyer Yasmine Taeb, has been aggressive in painting Saslaw as too conservative and too cozy with special interests. Alan Suderman, chicagotribune.com, "Feisty Virginia primaries closely watched for national trend," 11 June 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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Statistics for special interest

Last Updated

19 Sep 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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with special interest

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Comments on special interest

What made you want to look up special interest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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