[jer-i-man-der, ger-]
See more synonyms for gerrymander on
  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)
  1. U.S. Politics. to subject (a state, county, etc.) to a gerrymander.

Origin of gerrymander

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
Related formsger·ry·man·der·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for gerrymander

fix, manipulate, falsify, engineer, juggle, doctor, fake, gerrymander

Examples from the Web for gerrymander

Historical Examples of gerrymander

British Dictionary definitions for gerrymander


  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
  1. an act or result of gerrymandering
Derived Formsgerrymandering, noun

Word Origin for gerrymander

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
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

Word Origin and History for gerrymander

1812 as both a noun and verb, American English, 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. Related: Gerrymandered; gerrymandering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gerrymander in Culture



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 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.