1. A Northerner who went to the South after the Civil War for political or financial advantage.
2. An outsider, especially a politician, who presumptuously seeks a position or success in a new locality.
[So called because they carried their belongings in carpetbags.]
(click for a larger image)carpetbagger
colorized 1872 cartoon by Thomas Nast depicting Senator Carl Schurz (1820-1906) as a carpetbagger
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.