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gerrymander Syllabification: ger·ry·man·der
Pronunciation: /ˈjerēˌmandər/

Definition of gerrymander in English:


[with object] (often as noun gerrymandering)
1Manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class.
Example sentences
  • He said the party had impoverished its supporters and predicted that they would turn against the ruling party, no matter how the constituency boundaries were gerrymandered.
  • Politicians have come to see manipulation of the vote much as they see gerrymandering boundaries of voting districts - all part of the electoral game.
  • If anything, it reinforced perceptions that the board and the ANC were simply gerrymandering provincial boundaries to suit short-term political ends.
1.1Achieve (a result) by manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constituency: a total freedom to gerrymander the results they want
More example sentences
  • A gerrymandered election does not make for a democracy.


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An instance of gerrymandering.
Example sentences
  • As Polsby points out, the art of the gerrymander is another instance with respect to which the constitutional order has been turned on its head.
  • In a gerrymander in 1923, Unionists wrested control from Nationalists, an arrangement reinforced in the 1930s.
  • Despite a gerrymander, the number of opposition seats rose from 22 to 45, mostly at the expense of the ruling party.


Pronunciation: /ˈjerēˌmand(ə)rər/
Example sentences
  • It's possible the court will find that this time the gerrymanderers in North Carolina have simply gone too far.
  • A successful gerrymanderer begins by assuming that his party has a certain amount of support statewide; he then apportions that support strategically among individual districts.
  • Without it, gerrymanderers armed with sophisticated technology and facing few real constraints could run wild, causing minority representation in Congress to shrink dramatically.


Early 19th century: from the name of Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts + salamander, from the supposed similarity between a salamander and the shape of a new voting district on a map drawn when he was in office (1812), the creation of which was felt to favor his party: the map (with claws, wings, and fangs added), was published in the Boston Weekly Messenger, with the title The Gerry-Mander.

  • Half-man, half-lizard—that is a gerrymander. In political contexts gerrymandering is manipulating the boundaries of electoral districts to give an advantage to a particular party or class. The term was coined when Elbridge Gerry, governor of Massachusetts in 1812, created a new voting district that appeared to favour his party. Because the shape of this new district vaguely resembled the outline of a salamander, a map, embellished with claws, wings, and fangs, was published in the Boston Weekly Messenger, with the title The Gerry-Mander.

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