spoils system


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 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.

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.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spoils%20system. Accessed 24 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on spoils system

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spoils system

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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