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

Invitations appear in everyone’s lockers, inviting the Midnight Club members to an ascension party after-hours at school. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "Someone Died in the Riverdale Flashback Episode and I Need to Talk About It ASAP," 8 Nov. 2018 The projects are perfect for paint-and-sip parties and make unique gifts, as well as art fit for a farmhouse or any home. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Turn Beautiful Photos of the Country Into Works of Art With Paint-By-Number Kits," 30 Oct. 2018 With her Stunna Lip Paint in Uninvited, a true black shade, as the jumping-off point, Rihanna creates a full look that's worthy of any October 31st parties. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Rihanna Shares New Fenty Beauty Makeup Tutorial for "Goth Chic" Look — Just in Time for Halloween," 24 Oct. 2018 But things quickly took a turn when Neil started talking about his kids' birthday party. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The View' Fans Have Mixed Feelings After Neil Patrick Harris Calls Out Whoopi Goldberg on Air," 12 Oct. 2018 Scare your party guests into a chocolate coma with these decadent cupcakes. Alexis Jones, Redbook, "The Best Halloween Food Ideas for Your Adult Gathering," 2 Aug. 2018 Earlier Friday, four people were killed in an attack in southern Pakistan, in the city of Bannu, near a rally held for Akram Khan Durrani, a leader in the conservative Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party that supports the Afghan Taliban. Shaiq Hussain And Antonio Olivo,, "Pakistanis urge military to boost security after hundreds die in attacks before election," 14 July 2018 Ahead of his return, police swept through Lahore, arresting scores of Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League party workers to prevent them from greeting him at the airport. Fox News, "The Latest: Bomb explodes near Pakistan pol's election rally," 13 July 2018 Be sure to check out the occasional stargazing parties at Alpenglow Observatory. Megan Michelson, Outside Online, "These Are the Best Stargazing Spots in North America," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The passengers include elderly locals, romping children, partying teens, Western tourists, and menacing soldiers. Peter Keough,, "An activist, a stripper, a funny guy, and a secret history of America," 22 Mar. 2018 Per videos and photos posted from the club, G-Eazy had been partying with his girlfriend, singer Halsey, and fellow artist Sean Kingston, who shared a photo on his Instagram account. Sarah Michaud,, "'Remorseful' G-Eazy Convicted of Assault and Drug Possession, Avoids Jail Time Following Arrest," 4 May 2018 After spending the first half of his 20s performing live and partying his way around the world, Swedish DJ Avicii, real name Tim Bergling, decided to come off the road. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "After Hospitalization & Health Scare, Avicii Retired From Touring in 2016 and Never Returned," 20 Apr. 2018 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

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

12 Nov 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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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