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 The exam was created by the Rogers Act, which abolished the spoils system and transformed the Foreign Service into a professional organization with hiring and promotions based on merit. Dave Seminara, WSJ, 2 May 2022 That’s a noble-sounding word, yet one that corrupts the notion of equality under the law by imposing a racial-spoils system favored by social-justice warriors. Asra Q. Nomani, National Review, 9 Mar. 2022 Despite the nominal idealism of multiculturalism, this looks like a diversity spoils system, whose proliferating claimants will become impossible to satisfy. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 16 Dec. 2020 One of the last vestiges of the spoils system, cushy diplomatic posts routinely go to campaign patrons. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, 9 May 2021 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, 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, 17 Aug. 2020 And the President appears to have brought back Jackson’s spoils system. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 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, 27 Sep. 2017 See More

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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Last Updated

8 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spoils system.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spoils%20system. Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spoils system

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spoils system


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