par·ty | \ ˈpär-tē \
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 \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for party

Synonyms: Noun

actor, partaker, participant, participator, player, sharer

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of party in a Sentence


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.


He spent the weekend partying with his friends.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Actress/model Rachel McCord made heads turn on the blue carpet while attending the and DailyMailTV summer party in West Hollywood. Fox News, "Wardrobe whoopsies: On purpose, or an accident?," 14 July 2018 In early 2015, Walker and C.R. met the female victim, identified as F.V., at a party in Columbia. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Missouri man pleads guilty to running prostitution business, feds say," 12 July 2018 Watch the final match of the FIFA World Cup Championship at the largest free viewing party in San Diego. Carolina Gusman,, "Local eateries cool the summer heat with chillin' specials during National Ice Cream month," 12 July 2018 The move to ban such products — the first by a country in the European Union — has been strongly condemned in Israel and is opposed by the ruling party in Ireland. Sean Savage, Jewish Journal, "Ireland goes ahead with legislation to boycott products made in Israeli settlements," 12 July 2018 This Labor Day weekend, Harley-Davidson is celebrating 115 years of freedom, passion and the open road with an extended party in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Aug. 29 to Sep. 2. Harley Davidson Motor Company, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "How to access more at Harley’s 115th party," 12 July 2018 With the goal, the party in Zagreb was just getting started. Charlotte Carroll,, "Watch: Fans in Zagreb Go Nuts As Croatia Advances to World Cup Final," 11 July 2018 At last night's garden party in Dublin, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle socialized with Irish people from a variety of industries, specifically the arts, sports, military, and social enterprise sectors. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Had a Laugh with Outlander Star Caitriona Balfe in Dublin," 11 July 2018 Of the total contributions made to candidates and parties in Texas, Republicans make up 53.3 percent of the share while Democrats make up 31.2 percent, per the same data. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Beto O'Rourke is out-raising Ted Cruz. Other Texas Democrats? Not so much.," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Nothing ends a night of partying quite like eating junk food at 4 a.m.--or in Machine Gun Kelly's case, rummaging through Jamie Foxx's snacks. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Machine Gun Kelly Admits He Raided Jamie Foxx's Pantry, Stole Fruit Roll-Ups & Goldfish," 26 June 2018 Kutcher’s one-time local football hero returns to his family’s struggling Colorado ranch to help his partying brother, Masterson’s Rooster, and his crotchety father, Sam Elliott’s Beau; hysterics do not ensue. Matthew Gilbert,, "A guide to good Netflix vs. bad Netflix," 21 June 2018 Boats had continued to operate all night, and now parties ashore immediately went inland to reinforce the front lines. Washington Post, "AP WAS THERE: 75 years ago, reporter lands on Attu Island," 29 May 2018 In the midst of shows and appointments, the night offered a chance to party down in the company of stars, or just dance into the wee hours, all of which provided the week with a welcome jolt of energy. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Ambush Pulls Out All the Stops for Tokyo’s Biggest Party," 21 Mar. 2018 The historic setting and throwback music will evoke memories of off-duty soldiers partying during World War II. Dan Kelly, kansascity, "KC events July 5-11: Wyandotte County Fair, ‘Oklahoma,’ ‘Newsies,’ Summerfest," 3 July 2018 The beautiful, talented superstar falls in love with notorious, hard-partying Bobby Brown. Randy Cordova, azcentral, "In revealing documentary 'Whitney,' a superstar's life unravels," 5 July 2018 Harvey found himself in the headlines once again last week, when it was reported that Harvey was partying in Los Angeles before a game in San Diego. Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "Twitter reacts to the Matt Harvey-Mets breakup," 4 May 2018 Clif and Tuf—the stylized spellings are a Smith tradition—were 12 and 14 when their parents broke up, mostly due to Roy’s hard-partying ways. Melissa Lyttle, Smithsonian, "The First Family of Rodeo," 13 Dec. 2017

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


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


see party entry 1

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Statistics for party

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for party

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

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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)

: 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 \
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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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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