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 In hearings that must be held, courtroom attendance will be limited to attorneys, parties and necessary witnesses. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "State postpones most court hearings but jailed defendants awaiting trial still at risk," 13 Mar. 2020 That means skip the party, the movies, the weekend trip. Carolyn Kylstra, SELF, "If You’re Waiting for Someone to Tell You What To Do, Here It Is," 13 Mar. 2020 Irving’s libraries will have crafts, fun science demonstrations, parties and animal visits. Hunter Johnson, Dallas News, "Things to do for spring break in Irving — or in your house," 12 Mar. 2020 All other members of the Jazz, including players, the traveling party and media assigned to cover the team, had their tests come back negative, according to reports. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers not currently showing symptoms of coronavirus, won’t be tested unless they do, sources say," 12 Mar. 2020 Most of the online courses are hosted by third-party platforms in China, and schools rely on the platforms to fix the loopholes that have given students the chance to cheat. Jane Li, Quartz, "In China, quarantined students can pay $1.40 to cheat an online class," 11 Mar. 2020 No wonder the airport wanted to blow its own horn and stir up some excitement with private parties and festive tours before the March 24 opening. John King,, "SFO’s new terminal makeover gets a sneak preview amid coronavirus fears," 10 Mar. 2020 At a recently Bipartisan Policy Center event, there was a deafening silence from a panel of experts of both parties when asked about the EPA plan. Kelsey Brugger, Science | AAAS, "White House edits to EPA’s draft rule reveal tensions over ‘secret science’ push," 10 Mar. 2020 The drop in cooperation represents the latest attempt by lawmakers of both parties to push back on the watchdog. Robert Faturechi, ProPublica, "Members of Congress Have a New Strategy for Ethics Investigations: Stonewalling," 10 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The famous couple rang in the new decade basking in the sun and partying the nights away aboard a luxurious yacht with a group of their best friends, including Glen Powell and Chord Overstreet, while in the Bahamas last week. Claudia Harmata,, "Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Rang in the New Year with Glen Powell and Chord Overstreet," 6 Jan. 2020 And the scam’s aim was geopolitical, not party political—a continuation of the cold war, not an attempt to do down Democrats. The Economist, "The politics and history behind Donald Trump’s impeachment," 12 Dec. 2019 Holden's next celebration goal is to party on Lansing's House floor, said Robinson. Omar Abdel-baqui, Detroit Free Press, "'Mother' Lois Holden, Detroit's 'matriarch and hero,' celebrates 110 years of life," 3 Feb. 2020 He and the model spent Fourth of July together last year, partying on a boat in Malibu. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "It Seems Like Vanessa Hudgens May Have Already Moved on From Austin Butler," 22 Jan. 2020 Ready to party Simpson and his wife Marianna are planning to fly out to Los Angeles on Jan. 24 for all the award festivities. Tracy Maness, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Chamber Choir gets first Grammy nomination," 16 Jan. 2020 Instead of partying on New Year’s Eve, hundreds of people who had ordered Teslas for delivery before a federal tax credit expired after Dec. 31 lined up at the company’s Fremont plant to pick up their cars. Kathleen Pender,, "Tesla left car buyer out in the cold," 11 Jan. 2020 Needless to say, Serena Williams deserves to party on a yacht in a bikini more than anyone. Christina Oehler,, "Serena Williams’s Abs Are On Full Display In This Bikini Video," 12 Dec. 2019 Corosine explains the initial plan was to party in that courtyard, but when the port became UNESCO protected in 2015, partying in the Skala de la Kasbah was shelved. Nicolas Stecher, Billboard, "Morocco's Moga Festival Shines Bright With Blond:ish, Kenny Dope and Local Roots," 22 Oct. 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

18 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Party.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 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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