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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Tory

Statistics for Tory

Cite this Entry

“Tory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for Tory


How to pronounce Tory (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of Tory

informal : a member of the British Conservative Party

More from Merriam-Webster on Tory

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for Tory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with Tory

Comments on Tory

What made you want to look up Tory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!