To·​ry | \ ˈtȯr-ē How to pronounce Tory (audio) \
plural Tories

Definition of Tory

b : a member or supporter of a major British political group of the 18th and early 19th centuries favoring at first the Stuarts and later royal authority and the established church and seeking to preserve the traditional political structure and defeat parliamentary reform — compare whig
2 : an American upholding the cause of the British Crown against the supporters of colonial independence during the American Revolution : loyalist
3 often not capitalized : an extreme conservative especially in political and economic principles
4 : a dispossessed Irishman subsisting as an outlaw chiefly in the 17th century
5 obsolete : bandit, outlaw

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Other Words from Tory

Tory adjective

Examples of Tory in a Sentence

a small-town Tory who saw that society was changing, much to his regret

First Known Use of Tory

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for Tory

Irish tóraidhe outlaw, robber, from Middle Irish tóir pursuit

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Cite this Entry

“Tory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of Tory

informal : a member of the British Conservative Party

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