From Middle English electour (“one with a right to vote in electing some office, elector”), borrowed from Late Latin ēlēctor (“chooser, selector; voter, elector”), from Latin ēligere (“to elect”) + -tor (suffix forming masculine agent nouns). Ēligere is the present active infinitive of ēligō (“to extract, pluck or root out; (figurative) to choose, elect, pick out”), from ē- (variant of ex- (prefix meaning ‘away; out’)) + legō (“to appoint, choose, select”) (from Proto-Italic *legō (“to gather, collect”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *leǵ- (“to collect, gather”)).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪˈlɛktə/
Audio (RP) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /əˈlɛktɚ/
- Rhymes: -ɛktə(ɹ)
- Hyphenation: elect‧or
elector (plural electors)
- (politics) A person eligible to vote in an election; a member of an electorate, a voter.
- 1788, Publius [pseudonym; Alexander Hamilton], “Number XXXV. The Same Subject [the general power of taxation] Continued.”, in The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution, […] In Two Volumes, volume I, New York, N.Y.: […] J. and A. M‘Lean, […], OCLC 642792893, page 217:
- Where the qualifications of the electors are the ſame, whether they have to chooſe a ſmall or a large number their votes will fall upon thoſe in whom they have the moſt confidence; whether thoſe happen to be men of large fortunes or of moderate property or of no property at all.
- 1791, Thomas Paine, Rights of Man: Being an Answer to Mr. Burke’s Attack on the French Revolution, London: […] J. S. Jordan, […], OCLC 1003933922, pages 56–57:
- The conſtitution of France ſays, that every man who pays a tax of ſixty ſous per annum, (2s. and 6d. Engliſh), is an elector.— [...] Can any thing be more limited, and at the ſame time more capricious, than what the qualifications of electors are in England? [...] Capricious—becauſe the loweſt character that can be ſuppoſed to exiſt, and who has not ſo much as the viſible means of an honeſt livelihood, is an elector in ſome places; while, in other places, the man who pays very large taxes, and with a fair known character, and the farmer who rents to the amount of three or four hundred pounds a year, and with a property on that farm to three or four times that amount, is not admitted to be an elector.
- 1793, William Frend, Peace and Union Recommended to the Associated Bodies of Republicans and Anti-Republicans, St. Ives, Cornwall: […] P. C. Croft, OCLC 10517345, page 7:
- In the courſe of not many years muſt the electours of one place grapple in the waves for their town, and at preſent a ſeptennial conſequence is given to a heap of ruins.
- 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville, “Government of the Democracy in America”, in Henry Reeve, transl., Democracy in America. […], volume II, London: Saunders and Otley, […], OCLC 328089906, page 93:
- But in France is practice of bribing electors is almost unknown, whilst it is notoriously and publicly carried on in England.
- (Britain, Commonwealth of Nations) A person eligible to vote to elect a Member of Parliament.
- 1701, J. D. [Fothers?]; H. W.; T. S.; R. L. [et al.], “To the Bookseller”, in A Letter from Some Electors, to One of Their Representatives in Parliament. Shewing the Electors Sentiments, Touching the Matter in Dispute between the Lords and Commons in the Last Session of Parliament, in Relation to the Impeachments. […], London: […] Booksellers of London and Westminster, OCLC 723416682:
- I Think this Letter, which was ſent to me by my Electors, worth printing, becauſe as it has convinced me, it may convince others.
- 1818, Kent [pseudonym], “Pledges for Parliamentary Conduct”, in A View of the Great Constitutional Questions, Addressed to the Electors of the United Kingdom. (Part the First.), Canterbury, Kent: […] Rouse, Kirkby, and Lawrence; and sold by […] Messrs. Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, […], OCLC 54585586, page 8:
- The constitutional right of the Electors to exact pledges, from Candidates who are soliciting the honour of representing the nation in Parliament, has been frequently agitated, and as loudly contended for as manfully resisted, at different periods of effervescence; [...]
- 1919 May 23, “The Indian Franchise. The Political Centre of Gravity.”, in The Near East, volume XV, number 420, London: […] St. Clements Press […], OCLC 783923453, page 481:
- India is to have a new Constitution, under which certain limited powers will be assigned to elected representatives. [...] Who, then, are to be the electors in rural constituencies? Only a few general statements can be made on this point. Women must wait, and, in the country at least, they will not mind; there is to be no literacy test, but military service will very properly qualify.
- A member of an electoral college; specifically (US) an official selected by a state as a member of the Electoral College to elect the president and vice president of the United States.
- 1787 September 17, “[Constitution of the United States]”, in The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription, Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, archived from the original on 1 January 2020, Article II, section 1:
- The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice-President chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows / Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
- 1906, J[ohn] Hampden Dougherty, “The Electoral System should be Abolished—Defects in the Provisions of the Constitution Regarding the Presidential Succession”, in The Electoral System of the United States: Its History, together with a Study of the Perils that have Attended Its Operations, […], New York, N.Y.; London: G[eorge] P[almer] Putnam’s Sons […], OCLC 559469282, page 250:
- The electors were originally designed to be the agents of a State, armed with plenary authority to cast its vote for President and Vice-President in such manner as the agents themselves or a majority of them might will, all danger of abuse of the trust being intended to be averted by the selection of worthy and fitting instruments for the execution of this high office. [...] Electors are now the mere instruments of party, "party puppets," as Justice [Joseph Philo] Bradley termed them, to perform a function which an automaton without intelligence or volition might as fittingly discharge.
- 1922 February 16, “The Future of Palestine. Administration Outlined.”, in The Near East, volume XXI, number 562, London: […] St. Clements Press […], OCLC 783923453, page 213:
- The secondary electors will be formed into twelve electoral colleges according to the religious community to which they belong: the number of colleges to be allotted to each religious community will be proportionate to the number of secondary electors belonging to the several communities; and each electoral college will elect one member of the [Legislative] Council.
- 2009, Michael Duvalle, “Electoral Votes”, in Complete Book of Historic Presidential Firsts: With Fascinating Details & Factual Tidbits, [Bloomington, Ind.]: Xlibris, →ISBN, page 260:
- Presidents have never been elected directly by individual voters. They vote for electors from their respective state. Each state then chooses its electors that equals to its representation in Congress. The electors then vote for the president. In most states, the candidate who wins the popular vote also wins the electoral vote of that state.
- 2015, Pate McMichael, “Election Night: Tuesday, November 5, 1968”, in Klandestine: How a Klan Lawyer and a Checkbook Journalist Helped James Earl Ray Cover Up His Crime, Chicago, Ill.: Chicago Review Press, →ISBN, part V (Stand Up for America, 1967–1968), page 176:
- Faithless electors were nothing new in Wallace County. When President [John Fitzgerald] Kennedy won the election of 1960, Democratic electors from Alabama and Mississippi—incensed over Kennedy's stance on civil rights—tried to sabotage democracy by voting for Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia—a former Klansman who wasn't even on the ballot. Had enough electors followed suit, the election of 1960 would have been thrown into the House [of Representatives], and [Richard] Nixon might have won.
- (historical) Alternative letter-case form of .
- 1560, Thomas Cooper, “[The Thirde Part of Lanquettes Chronicle]”, in Coopers Chronicle, Conteininge the Whole Discourse of the Histories as well of This Realme, as All Other Countreis, […], new edition, London: […] [[I]n the house late Thomas Berthelettes], OCLC 1172192520, 3rd book, folio 227, recto:
- Whan the electours profered to make him [Ottokar II of Bohemia] emperour, he refuſed it, ſaiyng, that it was a greatter thynge to be kynge of Boheme, than emperour of Rome.
- 1788, Publius [pseudonym; James Madison], “Number XIX. The Subject [the insufficiency of the present confederation to preserve the Union] Continued, with Farther Examples.”, in The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution, […] In Two Volumes, volume I, New York, N.Y.: […] J. and A. M‘Lean, […], OCLC 642792893, page 117:
- In one of the conflicts, the [Holy Roman] emperor himſelf was put to flight, and very near being made priſoner by the elector of Saxony.
- 1961, Will Durant; Ariel Durant, “Imperial Armageddon: 1564–1648”, in The Age of Reason Begins: A History of European Civilization in the Period of Shakespeare, Bacon, Montaigne, Rembrandt, Galileo, and Descartes: 1558–1648 (The Story of Civilization; 7), New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, →ISBN, page 538:
- [T]he seven Imperial electors who chose the [Holy Roman] emperor controlled him by the pledges exacted from him as the price of his election. These electors were the king of Bohemia, the rulers of Saxony, Brandenburg, and the Palatinate, and the "spiritual electors"—the archbishops of Cologne, Trier, and Mainz.
- 1995, Veronica P. M. Baker-Smith, “An Electoral Family”, in A Life of Anne of Hanover, Princess Royal (Publications of the Sir Thomas Browne Institute Leiden; no. 13 (New Series)), Leiden; New York, N.Y.: E[vert] J[an] Brill, →ISBN, ISSN 0920-5551, page 1:
- Hanover, seat of the electors, was an attractive small town set on the River Leine. [...] The electoral court was in residence at Herrenhausen only between May and October, so that by the beginning of November 1709 the only activity was in one of the private wings where Caroline of Ansbach, wife of the elector’s heir, had chosen to give birth to her second child.
- electour (obsolete)
- prince-elector on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- elector (disambiguation) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- voting on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- “elector” in Diccionari de la llengua catalana, segona edició, Institut d’Estudis Catalans.
- “elector” in Gran Diccionari de la Llengua Catalana, Grup Enciclopèdia Catalana.
- “elector” in Diccionari normatiu valencià, Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua.
- “elector” in Diccionari català-valencià-balear, Antoni Maria Alcover and Francesc de Borja Moll, 1962.
From ēligō (“to choose, pick out”) + -tor (agentive suffix) from ex- (“out”) + legō (“to gather, collect”) from Proto-Italic *legō, from Proto-Indo-European *leǵ-. Compare Ancient Greek ἐκλέγω (eklégō).
- (Classical) IPA(key): /eːˈleːk.tor/, [eːˈɫ̪eːk.t̪ɔr]
- (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /eˈlek.tor/, [ɛˈlɛk.t̪ɔr]
- (Vulgar) IPA(key): /eːˈleːk.tor/, [eˈlek.tor]
- elector in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
- elector in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette, page 580
- elector in Georges, Karl Ernst; Georges, Heinrich (1913) Ausführliches lateinisch-deutsches Handwörterbuch, Hahnsche, page 2378
From Late Latin ēlēctor, ēlēctōris (“chooser, selector”), from Latin ēligō, ēligēre (“to choose, pick out”), ex- + legō from Proto-Italic *legō (“to gather, collect”), from Proto-Indo-European *leǵ-.