loy·​al·​ist | \ ˈlȯi-ə-list How to pronounce loyalist (audio) \

Definition of loyalist

: one who is or remains loyal especially to a political cause, party, government, or sovereign

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Synonyms for loyalist



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Examples of loyalist in a Sentence

die-hard loyalists engaging in espionage against the revolutionaries

Recent Examples on the Web

Before the year ended, several conservatives and Trump loyalists started talking about mounting primary challenge in 2020. CBS News, "Justin Amash's district might abandon Trump, too," 19 Aug. 2019 Taking advantage of that chaos and instability, Bashir loyalists descended on Kober in an attempt to free the deposed leader, but they were thwarted, according to the police statement. CNN, "The ex-Sudanese president's cronies tried to break him out of jail ahead of his trial," 19 Aug. 2019 Analysts expect a clamor among party loyalists to appoint her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as her brother’s successor. Washington Post, "India’s main opposition Congress party in throes of crisis," 11 Aug. 2019 Hardliners and loyalists now run the parts of the Department of Homeland Security that deal with immigration and naturalization. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Trump’s Cynical War on American Citizenship," 30 July 2019 The reluctance to repatriate these loyalists has extended to family members as well, such as wives and children. New York Times, "‘Her Eyes Were Full of Fear.’ Turkey Repatriates Children of ISIS Followers.," 27 July 2019 Nearly every day of our visit, the front page of the Belfast Telegraph, a Protestant loyalist-leaning paper, soberly brought news of violence—as if that violence and its own brand of religious and political sectarianism were unrelated. Kevin Dettmar, The New Yorker, "Witnessing the Moon Landing in Ireland, at the Start of the Troubles," 20 July 2019 That’s one more reason Democratic loyalists want the most formidable candidate. Nic Garcia, The Denver Post, "John Hickenlooper for Senate? It could still happen — if he wants it, observers say," 19 July 2019 The second-term governor keeps offering assurances to GOP loyalists that the Lone Star State will remain deep red on his watch. Jamie Hancock, Dallas News, "Who's got the money for 2020, Beto O'Rourke's slaveholding ancestors, Republicans condemn Trump's remarks as racist," 16 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'loyalist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of loyalist

1647, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near loyalist






loyal opposition


Statistics for loyalist

Last Updated

22 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for loyalist

The first known use of loyalist was in 1647

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English Language Learners Definition of loyalist

: a person who is loyal to a political cause, government, or leader
: a person from Northern Ireland who believes that Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom


loy·​al·​ist | \ ˈlȯi-ə-ləst\

Kids Definition of loyalist

: a person who is loyal to a political cause, government, or leader especially in times of revolt

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