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 Smart, 19, of Stockton, was last seen May 25, 1996, with Flores while returning to her dorm at California Polytechnic State University campus in San Luis Obispo after an off-campus party. Brian Melley, ajc, "Prosecutor: Missing student killed during 1996 rape attempt," 15 Apr. 2021 Some are donating to committees controlled by party leaders that spend big to boost the chances of all Republican candidates in the House and the Senate. David Koenig, Anchorage Daily News, "Big business ratchets up its pushback against Republican efforts to change election laws," 15 Apr. 2021 This notional dinner party that exists in all magazine editors’ heads is rare. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "Nigella Lawson Wants to Talk to People," 14 Apr. 2021 January 6, 2015 - Boehner is elected to a third term as speaker of the House, after a tense floor vote that saw a remarkably large chunk of his own party attempt to remove him. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, "John Boehner Fast Facts," 14 Apr. 2021 Stacking the deck in these congressional districts produced Congress members chosen by party activists who vote in primaries, many of whom regard compromise as a dirty word. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "John Boehner’s political memoir disses Trump and Tea Party but avoids Ohio controversies," 14 Apr. 2021 But even within each political party, women were more worried about the virus and followed more safety recommendations. Los Angeles Times, "Only 30% of L.A. County men got COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 44% of women. Why the disparity?," 14 Apr. 2021 In recent months, there have been battles on both a state and federal level for election reform, with each party looking to enact its own version. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Hundreds of company executives sign letter defending ‘the right to vote’," 14 Apr. 2021 But despite those figures, most independents are actually loyal to one party or the other. Alisa Wiersema, ABC News, "GOP lawmakers take retaliatory jab at MLB for voting rights stance: The Note," 14 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The event will return to Lake Boca Raton on April 25, expected to lure boaters who party on everything from yachts and small boats to Jet-skis to kayaks and paddleboards, organizers announced on social media this week. Austen Erblat,, "The Boca Bash is back on after last year’s COVID-19 closure. ‘Same ol’ party at the same ol’ location.’," 1 Apr. 2021 With the Oscars just one month away, Sir Elton John is getting ready to party with a little help from his friends. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Dua Lipa to Headline Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscars Pre-Party," 22 Mar. 2021 Miami Beach always attracts large crowds of spring breakers, but after a year of coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, the stir-crazy seem to be wanting to party extra hard. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Miami Beach officials say they're prepared for another weekend of large spring break crowds," 26 Mar. 2021 Get ready to party all night long with your villagers and friends with some brand prom items that will be available for a limited time thanks to the hard work of our favorite Able Sisters. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Nintendo Adds Prom Themed Items to "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" for a Limited Time," 17 Mar. 2021 Thus, as ready to party this collection was, ostensibly, the flirty one-shoulder dresses with zip-away zipper treatments, crystal rhinestone studded thigh hi boots and bags and white Mack Daddy faux furs will have to wait to hit the dance floor. Roxanne Robinson, Forbes, "Further Covid-19 Restrictions Looming, Coperni Fuels Paris Fashion Week With Hope," 5 Mar. 2021 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

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

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Party.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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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