spoils system

noun

Definition of spoils system

: a practice of regarding public offices and their emoluments as plunder for members of the victorious party

Examples of spoils system in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The real history of Catholic justices on the Supreme Court is mostly a story of the happy irrelevance of their faith, except in the trivial way that religion has sometimes mattered in an interest-group spoils system. Matthew J. Franck, WSJ, "Is the Supreme Court Too Catholic?," 8 Oct. 2020 But Jackson, who was in from 1829 to 1837, really institutionalized postal patronage with his spoils system. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "The Importance of the Post Office to American Democracy," 17 Aug. 2020 And the President appears to have brought back Jackson’s spoils system. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "The Importance of the Post Office to American Democracy," 17 Aug. 2020 That world was one of astonishing corruption: Political organizations such as Tammany Hall routinely fleeced taxpayers of millions, and the spoils system was in full swing. John Steele Gordon, WSJ, "Growing Into the Office," 27 Sep. 2017

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

1838, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of spoils system was in 1838

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Cite this Entry

“Spoils system.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spoils%20system. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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