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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Seniors holiday party: Celebrate the season at the Senior Center’s Holiday Party at noon Dec. 10 at the Senior Center, 7327 Avon Belden Road. cleveland, "CRS appoints Ohradzansky as executive director: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 23 Nov. 2019 To be sure, nothing could match the party homerism demonstrated over the past two weeks with the House Intelligence Committee inquiry into Trump’s actions. Gilbert Garcia,, "Debunking the myth of Watergate impeachment bipartisanship," 22 Nov. 2019 The fifth — the alleged party organizer — was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory. Evan Sernoffsky,, "New arrests in Halloween shooting in Orinda after earlier busts didn’t stick," 22 Nov. 2019 Or how about finding unique jewelry for your best friend and getting to share farm-to-table gourmet goodies at your work's annual holiday party? Natalia E. Contreras, Indianapolis Star, "Forget the mall. Check out these holiday gift shows and market around Indianapolis," 22 Nov. 2019 Because every party prepays, Rivera knows exactly how much food to buy for each meal, thereby reducing cost and waste. Wired, "How chef Eric Rivera is upending the traditional restaurant model—and making delicious food while he's at it.," 22 Nov. 2019 As Hanukkah is beginning, the company’s CEO asks Rebecca and Chris — her insufferable officemate and main competition for the promotion — to plan the company’s Christmas party. Dan Snierson,, "Everything you need to know about all 105 new Christmas TV movies," 22 Nov. 2019 In fact, many argue that winter’s official coming-out party should be earlier in the month, even as soon as December 1. Amy Mitchell, Country Living, "When Is the First Day of Winter in 2019?," 22 Nov. 2019 At a debate watch party on Wednesday night sponsored by several African-American community groups, many of the dozens of people crowded into the room were filled with anxious skepticism. Jennifer Medina, New York Times, "What Does Oakland Think of Kamala Harris Now?," 22 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb However, some adult who can't party during the week might take two bites of the apple by dressing down on the weekends before and after Oct. 31. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Rodeo Cardi B, Texans stars, smoke plume among this year's Houston-themed Halloween costumes," 24 Oct. 2019 Word spread more on social media, and by the time the party kicked off, young folks from cities throughout the region were partying in the same place. Justin Phillips,, "A perspective on Orinda: Death, gun violence and generational trauma," 7 Nov. 2019 Last month, thousands of people trekked out to the small town of Rachel, Nevada ready to party near Area 51 in hopes of seeing those strange-looking creatures from outer space. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Mystery Town, USA turns urban legends into Mackinaw City family attraction," 21 Oct. 2019 Browse through the photos above for a look at Texans fans partying outside NRG Stadium before Sunday's game. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Texans tailgating fans celebrate home opener at NRG Stadium," 15 Sep. 2019 Trump has also been found to have flown on one of Epstein’s planes at least once, and video has emerged of Epstein and Trump partying together at Trump’s Florida mansion, Mar-a-Lago. NBC News, "After Epstein's suicide, conspiracy theories flourish online," 10 Aug. 2019 Two hard-partying brothers bring two wild and uncontrollable women to their sister’s wedding in Hawaii. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 The squad, which has been partying hard since its consecutive Women's World Cup win over the Netherlands on Sunday, was in New York on Wednesday for the team's victory parade and rally. Charlotte Carroll,, "USWNT Uses Its Equal Pay Lawsuit as Confetti for World Cup Victory Parade," 10 July 2019 Meet Me in the Viper Room Channeled by designers, the spirits of hard-partying rock stars and ’90s-era Hollywood bad boys hovered over many runways. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "The Men’s Trends You Might Actually Want to Wear in 2020," 28 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about party

Time Traveler for party

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for party

Last Updated

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Party.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


the study of flags

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!