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 The party that lost the (2016) election is continuing the fight by other means,’’ Putin said., "MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that President Donald Trump’s impeachment is far-fetched and that the U.S. Senate will reject the motion.," 20 Dec. 2019 According to Koussa, Dickens-themed Christmas parties are a popular trend. cleveland, "Independence schools brighten lives of troops, needy with inspiration from Dickens classic," 20 Dec. 2019 For Angelo Gonzalez, pastor at The Church at Cane Island, a good Christmas party is about two things: bringing people together and remembering those in need. Claire Goodman, Houston Chronicle, "‘Christmas in Katy’ celebration benefits Hope Impacts and Katy Christian Ministries," 19 Dec. 2019 Today's party is just one way that the Cambridge kids are celebrating the holidays. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince George, Prince Louis, and Princess Charlotte Join Will and Kate for a Festive Christmas Lunch," 18 Dec. 2019 The tradition dates back to the 1950s, when Princess Grace invited underprivileged children to the palace Monaco’s annual children’s Christmas party is unique among royal traditions — and just maybe the best-loved of all. Peter Mikelbank,, "Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco Play Santa Claus at Children's Christmas Party," 18 Dec. 2019 The party is gearing up for a bruising leadership contest, which is expected to formally begin in early January. Arkansas Online, "U.K.'s Boris Johnson talks with Trump, welcomes new lawmakers," 16 Dec. 2019 Logistically, each party is complex as there are many aspects that have to be managed. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "17-Year-Old Starts Non-Profit That Throws Birthday Parties For Homeless Kids," 16 Dec. 2019 The party was, unsurprisingly, sponsored by Ciroc, a company whose liquor has become synonymous with Diddy himself. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Everybody (And We Mean Everybody) Was At Diddy’s 50th Birthday Extravaganza," 16 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The 2010s fell short of the Stanley Cup parties the Wings enjoyed during the prior two decades, but didn’t lack for making history. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Top 10 Detroit Red Wings moments of decade: Goodbye Mr. Hockey, hello Captain," 29 Dec. 2019 There are those who want to relax and recharge after a wild night of drinking bubbly (me!) and partying the night away. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "We'll Save You a Trip! These Stores Will Not Be Open on New Year's Day," 13 Dec. 2019 Trump was found to have flown in January 1997 on one of Epstein's planes at least once, and there is video of Epstein and Trump partying together at Mar-a-Lago, Trump's Florida mansion, in 1992. NBC News, "President Trump lands in Britain in the midst of Prince Andrew controversy," 2 Dec. 2019 The official ESSENCE Festival after party series provided a variety of experiences where attendees could continue partying the night away following the Superdome concerts, including the ever-popular ESSENCE After Dark Reggae x Afrobeats event. Essence, "ESSENCE Fest Flashback: Machel Montano Takes Us Behind The Scenes Of His 2019 Festival Experience," 19 Aug. 2019 The song serves as both a non-official wake up call for the 12,000 campers dozing in their tents and a rhetorical question for all of us who’ve spent the last three days partying in the woods here at the Canadian electronic music festival Shambhala. Katie Bain, Billboard, "In Its 22nd Year of 'Getting Weird in the Woods,' Shambhala Music Festival Demonstrates Why It's Still Worth the Effort," 12 Aug. 2019 While partying with oldest daughter Rumer Willis in 2012, Moore suffered a seizure after smoking synthetic cannabis and inhaling nitrous oxide. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Demi Moore: Ashton Kutcher encouraged threesomes, breaking her sobriety — while he cheated," 20 Sep. 2019 Another devotee of The Thousand and One Nights is the writer and hard-partying muse Eve Babitz, who in her teens, according to her sister, modeled herself on Scheherazade. Lidija Haas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 10 Jan. 2019 First comes her dead sister, Anita (Castañeda-Guevara), who spent their teen years partying while Dolores studied and then committed what Dolores still views as an unforgivable breach of sisterhood. oregonlive, "‘A Xmas Cuento Remix’ offers a heartwarming story about redemption and the importance of familia," 2 Dec. 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

24 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Party.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 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

Comments on party

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


to insert between existing elements

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