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rotten borough

(before the Reform Bill of 1832) any English borough that had very few voters yet was represented in Parliament.
an election district that has more representatives in a legislative body than the number of its constituents would normally call for.
Origin of rotten borough
1805-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for rotten-borough
Historical Examples
  • Here I came up with my sons, and we entered the rotten-borough together.

    Rural Rides William Cobbett
British Dictionary definitions for rotten-borough

rotten borough

(before the Reform Act of 1832) any of certain English parliamentary constituencies with only a very few electors Compare pocket borough
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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