par·​ty | \ ˈpär-tē How to pronounce party (audio) \
plural parties

Definition of party

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person or group taking one side of a question, dispute, or contest The parties in the lawsuit reached an agreement.
2 : a group of persons organized for the purpose of directing the policies of a government political parties with opposing agendas
3 : a person or group participating in an action or affair a mountain-climbing party a party to the transaction
4 : a particular individual : person an old party approaching 80
5 : a detail of soldiers The infantry repulsed a landing party from the ship.
6 : a social gathering a dinner party a birthday party also : the entertainment provided for it


partied; partying

Definition of party (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to attend or give parties broadly : revel sense 1

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Other Words from party


party adjective


partyer or less commonly partier \ ˈpär-​tē-​ər How to pronounce partier (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for party

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of party in a Sentence

Noun We are having a party. a high school dance party Were you invited to her party? Our New Year's Eve party was a huge success. political parties with opposing agendas The senator is loyal to his party. the two parties in the marriage contract The parties in the lawsuit reached a settlement. Verb He spent the weekend partying with his friends.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Regardless, presidents of both parties would reliably show up, if only as a gesture of good faith or nod to a local bipartisan tradition. Mark Leibovich, New York Times, "Trump Turns Shared American Experiences Into Us vs. Them," 26 Apr. 2020 Incumbent Jim Neil has faced opposition in his own party from the more progressive wing. Scott Wartman,, "Here's how Ohio's all-mail primary will work Tuesday," 26 Apr. 2020 The private data of the two parties is largely mirrored by public surveys. Jonathan Martin,, "Nervous Republicans see Trump sinking, and taking Senate with him," 25 Apr. 2020 In addition, family law cases could be postponed upon agreement of the parties involved. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: March 14-15," 24 Apr. 2020 The Trump administration has recently begun announcing that states have the number of coronavirus tests needed to track new cases in their states while reopening their economies, but multiple governors of both parties have refuted that claim. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "'I don’t agree with him': Trump splits with Fauci on whether US has enough testing," 23 Apr. 2020 That is, until actor John Krasinski decided to host his own online prom party. Cassandre Coyer, The Christian Science Monitor, "Pandemic prom: John Krasinski meets a high school need," 23 Apr. 2020 Reginald Lockett, who turned 20 the day of the party, faces the second-degree misdemeanor charge for violating DeWine’s March 22 order that limited gatherings to 10 or less people to help stem the spread of the coronavirus. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Man cited with violating Ohio’s stay-at-home order after throwing party at AirBnb in Ohio City that drew 100 people," 22 Apr. 2020 The court admonished the commission for ignoring public safety and specifically cited the commission's disregard of concerns raised by Santa Clara County, one of the parties that now seeks an extension. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "FCC blasted for “shameful” ruling against cities and fire department," 21 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The chapter describes Rodman and Electra partying heavily in Vegas during his break. Los Angeles Times, "‘Where’s Dennis?’: Carmen Electra recalls wild times with ‘The Last Dance’s’ Rodman," 26 Apr. 2020 By now, anyone in Cincinnati who pays attention to social media has heard of Rashaan Davis, the man who recorded people partying in Over-the-Rhine in defiance of Ohio's stay-at-home order. Sharon Coolidge,, "Court filing: Man in OTR gathering video punished more harshly because he's black," 14 Apr. 2020 This weekend several videos showed large groups of people partying on boats and tying their water crafts together in the Biscayne Bay of Miami and outside Boca Raton. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "Crowds packed California beaches despite shelter in place order," 23 Mar. 2020 And the people of the world will party under the moonlit blooms again. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The lessons of cherry blossoms are most relevant during the coronavirus pandemic," 19 Mar. 2020 Notable historic figures are seen partying together, vulgar smiles on their faces. Darcel Rockett,, "Our top 7 art works to see at Expo Chicago 2019," 20 Sep. 2019 Waterbar in Pacific Beach will party down with DJs Friday through Monday, and $4 Budweiser, bourbon and rye whiskey cocktail specials. San Diego Union-Tribune, "The Dish: 2019 guide to Labor Day weekend food and drink deals in San Diego County," 29 Aug. 2019 When Bayo bagged his side's third from close range, Celtic fans were partying, whilst Hearts' supporters began looking for the nearest exit., "Celtic: Twitter Reacts as Vakoun Bayo Fires Dominant Hoops to Victory Over Hearts," 25 Aug. 2019 After a night of partying together, the two got into a car accident on the way back to the Marmont. Leena Kim, Town & Country, "The Scandalous Secret History of the Chateau Marmont," 24 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'party.' 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 party


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1919, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for party

Noun and Verb

Middle English partie part, party, from Anglo-French, from partir to divide — more at part

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Time Traveler for party

Time Traveler

The first known use of party was in the 14th century

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Statistics for party

Last Updated

29 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Party.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for party


How to pronounce party (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of party

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a social event in which entertainment, food, and drinks are provided
: an organization of people who have similar political beliefs and ideas and who work to have their members elected to positions in the government
law : a person who is involved in a legal case or contract



English Language Learners Definition of party (Entry 2 of 2)

informal : to have a party or be involved in a party : to spend enjoyable time eating, drinking, dancing, etc., with a group of people


par·​ty | \ ˈpär-tē How to pronounce party (audio) \
plural parties

Kids Definition of party

1 : a social gathering or the entertainment provided for it
2 : a person or group concerned in some action He's a party to the lawsuit. A search party was formed.
3 : a group of people who take one side of a question or share a set of beliefs a political party


plural parties

Legal Definition of party

1a : one (as a person, group, or entity) constituting alone or with others one of the sides of a proceeding, transaction, or agreement the parties to a contract a person who signed the instrument as a party to the instrumentUniform Commercial Code
accommodated party
: a party to an instrument for whose benefit an accommodation party signs and incurs liability on the instrument : a party for whose benefit an accommodation is made
accommodation party
: a party who signs and thereby incurs liability on an instrument that is issued for value and given for the benefit of an accommodated party
secured party
: a party holding a security interest in another's property
third party
: a person other than the principals insurance against injury to a third party
b : one (as an individual, firm, or corporation) that constitutes the plaintiff or defendant in an action also : one so involved in the prosecution or defense of a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding as to be bound or substantially affected by the decision or judgment therein
adverse party
: a party to an action who is on the opposing side specifically : a party to a finally decided action whose interests would be served by having the judgment upheld on appeal and who is entitled to notice of an appeal
aggrieved party
: a party with a legally recognized interest that is injuriously affected especially by an act of a judicial or quasi-judicial body and that confers standing to appeal

called also aggrieved person, party aggrieved

indispensable party
: a party whose rights are so connected with the claims being litigated in an action that no judgment can be rendered without affecting or impairing those rights, no complete disposition of the action can be made without the party's joinder, and whose nonjoinder will result in the dismissal of an action — compare necessary party in this entry

Note: Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19 provides the courts with discretion in determining whether the absence of a party requires dismissal of an action, replacing an older and more rigid basis for determination. The rule states that “the court must determine whether, in equity and good conscience, the action should proceed among the existing parties or should be dismissed.”

innocent party
: a party having no fault in or responsibility for the situation for which judicial relief is sought : a party who comes into court with clean hands
necessary party
: a party whose interests are so connected with an action that he or she should be joined in order to fully determine the controversy but whose nonjoinder because of a valid excuse will not result in dismissal — compare indispensable party in this entry
nominal party
: a party who has no actual stake in the outcome of litigation and whose inclusion as a party is solely for the purpose of conforming with procedural rules
party aggrieved
: aggrieved party in this entry
party in interest
1 : a person whose rights are or will be affected by an action taken especially by a government or judicial body especially : a person whose pecuniary interests are affected by a bankruptcy proceeding
2 : real party in interest in this entry
proper party
: a party whose interests are likely to be affected by litigation and whose inclusion in the litigation is preferable but not essential
real party in interest
: a party who according to the applicable law is entitled to enforce the right that forms the basis of the claim regardless of who will actually benefit by the outcome

Note: Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 17(a) requires that “an action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest.”

third party
1 : a person who is not a party to an action but who is or may be liable to the defendant in the action for all or part of the plaintiff's claim and against whom the defendant may bring a third-party complaint
2 : a person who is not a party to an action but who is or may be liable to the plaintiff in the action for all or part of a counterclaim and against whom the plaintiff may bring a third-party complaint — see also third-party complaint
2 : a group of persons usually sharing a set of political ideals who are organized for the purpose of directing the policies of a government

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More from Merriam-Webster on party

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for party

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with party

Spanish Central: Translation of party

Nglish: Translation of party for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of party for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about party

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