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 party (audio) \ noun

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 Only a third of the 1,000 respondents said their loyalty is to the party as opposed to Trump himself. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Romney: 'Pretty sure' Trump would win 2024 GOP nomination if he runs for president again," 24 Feb. 2021 Tristan’s exam results arrive but remain unopened, and Mrs. Hall has misplaced optimism that her terrible son who doesn’t deserve her will come to the party. Alice Burton, Vulture, "All Creatures Great and Small Season-Finale Recap: Farewell to Our Yorkshire Friends," 21 Feb. 2021 Most of the shareholders were individual wine drinkers who, in lieu of dividends, got to come to a big party at the winery every year. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "California wine companies are doing what hasn't been done in 20 years: go on the stock market," 20 Feb. 2021 But unlike New Orleans, Mobile is closing off city streets to allow revelers to have space to party during Fat Tuesday. al, "Mardi Gras researchers warn of COVID super spreader Tuesday," 15 Feb. 2021 Her guide invites them all to a party, and the three enjoy an adventure free of the drama that anchors them back home in Portland, OR. Anne Cohen,, "Lana Condor On Saying Goodbye To Lara Jean — & The Alternate Ending We’ll Never See," 12 Feb. 2021 Because ultimately, only so many people can come to one party. Katie Bain, Billboard, "A Decade of Dreams: Lee Burridge Shares 10 Key Moments From His Iconic Party & Record Label, All Day I Dream," 12 Feb. 2021 Mark works the front desk at the SoulCycle in Hoboken, New Jersey, and one of his coworkers—one of the two Black people working there besides him—invites him to a party, and that’s where he is introduced to Ted. Sofie Birkin, Marie Claire, "Playing Kerri Strug," 9 Feb. 2021 Later on Friday, Greene accused her GOP critics of being the true traitors to the party, citing McCarthy’s efforts to retake the majority. Author: Mike Debonis, Paul Kane, Anchorage Daily News, "After losing committees, Marjorie Taylor Greene says she has been ‘freed’ to push the GOP further right," 6 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ventura County public health director Rigo Vargas, who grew up in south Oxnard, told me his wife lost an aunt because too many relatives continued to party over the winter holidays despite stay-at-home mandates. Los Angeles Times, "Column: What Oxnard can teach L.A. and the rest of California about COVID-19," 24 Feb. 2021 Best franchise to party with, hands down (RHONY’s a close second, of course). Chris Murphy, Vulture, "The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: How Bolo Can You Go?," 21 Feb. 2021 Two homeless vets who climb aboard outside the VA hospital and try to decide whether to party with a friend burning through his stimulus check. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego gets its version of ‘The Decameron’ to memorialize our modern-day plague," 20 Feb. 2021 Once Alabama clinched the title, fans poured out of establishments and homes to party it up. New York Times, "Alabama Fans and Ohio State Fans, and Reveling During a Pandemic," 12 Jan. 2021 Photos capture the artistry of ’tit Rex’s shoebox floats, and the beads and bustiers of several women’s groups that party in the French Quarter on the Friday before Fat Tuesday. Will Coviello,, "'I Wanna Do That' explores New Orleans' Carnival 'Krewe-niverse'," 4 Jan. 2021 How can party organizers keep Georgia residents motivated to vote? Cameron Mcwhirter And Joshua Jamerson, WSJ, "Georgia Senate Runoff Elections Trigger Panicked Door Knocking by Both Parties," 9 Dec. 2020 Aside from government directives that are often ignored, the pandemic has featured plenty of shaming aimed at people who don’t wear masks or who party in close quarters. John Keilman,, "Can harm reduction, the philosophy that stems HIV transmission and heroin overdoses, help curb a Thanksgiving COVID-19 meltdown?," 21 Nov. 2020 Some people may gather virtually to simulate a co-watching experience, and others will still party in person, but far more Americans will be watching alone and anxious at home. Kate Cray, The Atlantic, "Is This the End of the Election Night Watch Party?," 3 Nov. 2020

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

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Party.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for party



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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