gerrymanders

gerrymander

[jer-i-man-der, ger-]
noun
1.
U.S. politics. the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible.
verb (used with object)
2.
U.S. Politics. to subject (a state, county, etc.) to a gerrymander.

Origin:
1812, Americanism; after E. Gerry (governor of Massachusetts, whose party redistricted the state in 1812) + (sala)mander, from the fancied resemblance of the map of Essex County, Mass., to this animal, after the redistricting

gerrymanderer, noun
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World English Dictionary
gerrymander (ˈdʒɛrɪˌmændə)
 
vb
1.  to divide the constituencies of (a voting area) so as to give one party an unfair advantage
2.  to manipulate or adapt to one's advantage
 
n
3.  an act or result of gerrymandering
 
[C19: from Elbridge Gerry, US politician + (sala)mander; from the salamander-like outline of an electoral district reshaped (1812) for political purposes while Gerry was governor of Massachusetts]
 
gerry'mandering
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gerrymander
1812, Amer.Eng., from Elbridge Gerry + (sala)mander. Gerry, governor of Massachusetts, was lampooned when his party redistricted the state in a blatant bid to preserve an Antifederalist majority. One Essex County district resembled a salamander, and a newspaper editor dubbed it Gerrymander.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
gerrymander [(jer-ee-man-duhr)]

To change the boundaries of legislative districts to favor one party over another. Typically, the dominant party in a state legislature (which is responsible for drawing the boundaries of congressional districts) will try to concentrate the opposing party's strength in as few districts as possible, while giving itself likely majorities in as many districts as possible.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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