the body of persons entitled to vote in an election.
the dignity or territory of an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire.

1665–75; elector + -ate3

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
electorate (ɪˈlɛktərɪt)
1.  the body of all qualified voters
2.  the rank, position, or territory of an elector of the Holy Roman Empire
3.  (Austral), (NZ) the area represented by a Member of Parliament
4.  (Austral), (NZ) the voters in a constituency

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1670s, in reference to Germany, from elector + -ate (1). Meaning whole body of voters is from 1879.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Changing demographics, however, are shrinking white voters as a segment of the electorate.
These developments signify good health in the electorate.
The candidates are making their final pitches to the electorate.
They are, after all, serving the wishes of the electorate.
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