noun, plural par·ties.

  1. a social gathering, as of invited guests at a private home, for conversation, refreshments, entertainment, etc.: a cocktail party.
  2. a group gathered for a special purpose or task: a fishing party; a search party.
  3. a detachment, squad, or detail of troops assigned to perform some particular mission or service.
  4. a group of persons with common purposes or opinions who support one side of a dispute, question, debate, etc.
  5. a group of persons with common political opinions and purposes organized for gaining political influence and governmental control and for directing government policy: the Republican Party; the Democratic Party.
  6. the system of taking sides on public or political questions or the like.
  7. attachment or devotion to one side or faction; partisanship: to put considerations of party first.
  8. Law.
    1. one of the litigants in a legal proceeding; a plaintiff or defendant in a suit.
    2. a signatory to a legal instrument.
    3. a person participating in or otherwise privy to a crime.
  9. a person or group that participates in some action, affair, plan, etc.; participant: He was a party to the merger deal.
  10. the person under consideration; a specific individual: Look at the party in the green velvet shorts.
  11. a person or, usually, two or more persons together patronizing a restaurant, attending a social or cultural function, etc.: The headwaiter asked how many were in our party; a party of 12 French physicists touring the labs; a party of one at the small table.
  12. a person participating in a telephone conversation: I have your party on the line.
  13. any occasion or activity likened to a social party, as specified; session: The couple in the next apartment are having their usual dish-throwing party.
  14. an advantageous or pleasurable situation or combination of circumstances of some duration and often of questionable character; period of content, license, exemption, etc.: The police broke in and suddenly the party was over for the nation’s most notorious gunman.


  1. of or relating to a party or faction; partisan: party leaders.
  2. of or for a social gathering: her new party dress.
  3. being shared by or pertaining to two or more persons or things.
  4. Heraldry. (of an escutcheon) having the field divided into a number of parts, usually two; parted.

verb (used without object), par·tied, par·ty·ing. Informal.

  1. to go to or give parties, especially a series of parties.
  2. to enjoy oneself thoroughly and without restraint; indulge in pleasure.

noun plural -ties

    1. a social gathering for pleasure, often held as a celebration
    2. (as modifier)party spirit
    3. (in combination)partygoer
  1. a group of people associated in some activitya rescue party
    1. (often capital)a group of people organized together to further a common political aim, such as the election of its candidates to public office
    2. (as modifier)party politics
  2. the practice of taking sides on public issues
  3. a person, esp one who participates in some activity such as entering into a contract
  4. the person or persons taking part in legal proceedings, such as plaintiff or prosecutora party to the action
  5. informal, jocular a personhe’s an odd old party
  6. come to the party to take part or become involved

verb -ties, -tying or -tied (intr)

  1. informal to celebrate; revel


  1. heraldry (of a shield) divided vertically into two colours, metals, or furs

v.“have a good time,” 1922, from party (n.). Earlier as “to take the side of” (1630s). Related: Partied; partying. n.late 13c., “part, portion, side,” from Old French partie “side, part; portion, share; separation, division” (12c.), literally “that which is divided,” noun use of fem. past participle of partir “to divide” (see part (v.)). Political sense of “side in a contest or dispute” evolved by 1300; meaning “a person” is from mid-15c. Sense of “gathering for social pleasure” is first found 1716, from general sense of persons gathered together (originally for some specific purpose, e.g. dinner party, hunting party). Phrase the party is over is from 1937; party line is first recorded 1834 in the sense of “policy adopted by a political party,” 1893 in the sense of “telephone line shared by two or more subscribers.” Party pooper is from 1951, American English. In addition to the idioms beginning with party

  • party line
  • also see:

  • life of the party
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