: an afternoon social gathering at which tea is served
[from the Boston Tea Party, name applied to the occasion in 1773 when a shipment of tea was thrown into Boston harbor in protest against the tax on imports]
: an exciting disturbance or proceeding
: a 21st century U.S. political movement in favor of lower taxes, fewer government regulations and programs, strict immigration control, and a strong military
- "Tea Party" has become something of a catch-all term to describe an impassioned and empowered group of populist conservatives. They are largely antigovernment, a lot of them are self-described libertarians, and many say they are new to political activism. It is easy to think of them as a singular entity and a growing one.
- —Mark Leibovich
- Conservative activists started holding "Tea Party" protests in 2009 to vent outrage over federal stimulus spending, the Wall Street bailout and rising national debt. The movement quickly had an electoral impact, culminating in the 2010 midterm elections when the GOP captured the House.
- —Martha T. Moore