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How to pronounce gerrymander (audio)

Dictionary definition of gerrymander

To manipulate the boundaries of electoral districts in order to benefit a particular political party or group.
"They aim to gerrymander the districts to favor their party."

Detailed meaning of gerrymander

When someone gerrymanders, they redraw the boundaries of electoral districts in a way that favors a particular political party or group, often with the aim of ensuring that their candidates have an advantage in elections. This process can involve strategically carving out districts to concentrate or dilute the voting power of specific demographics, thereby influencing the outcomes of elections. Gerrymandering can undermine the principles of fair representation and democracy by distorting the will of the voters and perpetuating the power of incumbents or a dominant political party. The term "gerrymander" originates from an 1812 political cartoon that depicted a distorted electoral district in Massachusetts, which was said to resemble a salamander, combining "Gerry," the name of the governor at the time, with "salamander."

Example sentences containing gerrymander

1. To win, they plan to gerrymander districts subtly, gaining an unfair edge.
2. Lawmakers often gerrymander to tip electoral scales in their party's favor.
3. Can we ever halt efforts to gerrymander, ensuring fairer representation?
4. Critics argue officials gerrymander to weaken the opposition's voter base.
5. They will gerrymander borders, skewing election results significantly.
6. Some nations gerrymander areas to undermine democratic principles subtly.

History and etymology of gerrymander

The verb 'gerrymander' has a unique and politically charged etymology. It is a blend of two words: 'Gerry,' which is a reference to Elbridge Gerry, the Governor of Massachusetts in the early 19th century, and 'salamander,' a word chosen for its visual resemblance to the convoluted and irregularly shaped electoral districts that Gerry was accused of creating. In 1812, Governor Gerry approved a redistricting plan that favored his political party, the Democratic-Republicans, by creating oddly shaped districts that concentrated their opponents' votes. One of these districts was said to resemble a salamander, leading to the term 'gerrymander.' The term highlights the practice of manipulating electoral boundaries for political advantage, often resulting in unfair and unrepresentative elections. Its etymology serves as a historical reminder of the contentious nature of political maneuvering and the potential for abuse in the redistricting process.

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Further usage examples of gerrymander

1. Will new laws prevent attempts to gerrymander during future elections?
2. Advocates claim that to gerrymander is to undermine voter equality.
3. Efforts to gerrymander ensure an imbalanced, unequal representation.
4. Politicians often gerrymander, securing victories via manipulated zones.
5. To gerrymander means crafting twisted districts to ensure certain wins.
6. Politicians often gerrymander to ensure their parties maintain power.
7. Critics argue that the ruling party has been trying to gerrymander the electoral map.
8. It's illegal to gerrymander districts for racial or ethnic purposes.
9. To achieve a political advantage, the majority party may gerrymander the district lines.
10. The party in power decided to gerrymander the state's districts, despite the public's disapproval.
11. The politicians planned to gerrymander the new districts in their favor.
12. It's essential to counteract those who seek to gerrymander for personal gain.
13. Opposition parties accused the government of trying to gerrymander the election.
14. The election commission should step in to prevent any attempts to gerrymander.
15. They tried to gerrymander the boundary lines, but the courts overruled it.
16. Gerrymander is a tool often used in politics to skew voting outcomes.
17. Some parties gerrymander to gain an unfair advantage in elections.
18. The legislation was introduced to prevent anyone from attempting to gerrymander future elections.
19. Without intervention, the majority party could gerrymander their way to victory.
20. Their plan to gerrymander the districts raised concerns of voter suppression.
21. Politicians shouldn't gerrymander boundaries; it undermines democratic principles.
22. It's time to stand against those who gerrymander for their own interests.
23. If we let them gerrymander without resistance, democracy itself is at risk.
24. Despite the pushback, they continued to gerrymander the electoral districts.



manipulate, equalize, balance, fair


GRE 3 (Graduate Record Examination), Command and Constraint, Influence and Persuasion, Manipulation and Deception, Strategic Planning and Execution, Politics and Government

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