electoral college

noun (often initial capital letters)
  1. a body of electors chosen by the voters in each state to elect the president and vice president of the U.S.

Origin of electoral college

An Americanism dating back to 1790–1800
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for electoral college

electoral college

noun
  1. (often capitals) US a body of electors chosen by the voters who formally elect the president and vice president
  2. any body of electors with similar functions
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

electoral college in Culture

Electoral College

[(i-lek-tuhr-uhl)]

The presidential electors who meet after the citizens vote for president and cast ballots for the president and vice president. Each state is granted the same number of electors as it has senators (see United States Senate) and representatives combined. These electors, rather than the public, actually elect the president and the vice president. The Founding Fathers assumed that electors would exercise discretion and not necessarily be bound by the popular vote, but the rise of political parties undermined this assumption. Electors are now pledged in advance to vote for the candidate of their party, and nearly always do so. Thus, the vote of the Electoral College is largely a formality.

Note

There have been several attempts to abolish the Electoral College. In the 2000 presidential election, the candidate with the plurality of popular votes lost the electoral vote, a situation that also occurred in the 1876 and 1888 elections.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.