I. nounEtymology: Elbridge Gerry + salamander; from the shape of an election district formed during Gerry's governorship of Mass. Date: 1812 1. the act or method of gerrymandering 2. a district or pattern of districts varying greatly in size or population as a result of gerrymandering II. transitive verb (-dered; gerrymandering) Date: 1812 1. to divide (a territorial unit) into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible 2. to divide (an area) into political units to give special advantages to one group <gerrymander a school district>
v. & n. (also jerrymander) --v.tr. 1 manipulate the boundaries of (a constituency etc.) so as to give undue influence to some party or class. 2 manipulate (a situation etc.) to gain advantage. --n. this practice. Derivatives: gerrymanderer n. Etymology: the name of Governor Gerry of Massachusetts + (SALA)MANDER, from the shape of a district on a political map drawn when he was in office (1812)
Gerrymander Ger`ry*man"der, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Gerrymandered; p. pr. & vb. n. Gerrymandering.] To divide (a State) into districts for the choice of representatives, in an unnatural and unfair way, with a view to give a political party an advantage over its opponent. [Political Cant, U. S.] Note: This was done in Massachusetts at a time when Elbridge Gerry was governor, and was attributed to his influence, hence the name; though it is now known that he was opposed to the measure. --Bartlett.