tea party


Definition of tea party

1 : an afternoon social gathering at which tea is served
2 [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
3 usually Tea Party : 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

Examples of tea party in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Kinzinger was elected to the House in 2010, getting support from tea party groups in defeating Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson of Crete. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, "Rep. Adam Kinzinger has battled Trump and his fellow Republicans. In deep blue Illinois, could that be a strategy for higher office?," 29 Dec. 2020 Ten years on, the tea party class of senators anointed to lead the Republican Party into a glorious future of free markets and small government has splintered. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Tea party Senate class of 2010: Where and what are they now?," 25 Dec. 2020 In Daphne, an influential conservative tea party organization attempted a last-minute effort to sway the outcome; in Florence, the Alabama State Democratic Party interjected itself in a last-minute push during a tight race. al, "Have Alabama’s city elections succumbed to liberal vs conservative politics?," 15 Oct. 2020 Since then, members of the Senate’s tea party class of 2010 have taken different paths. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Tea party Senate class of 2010: Where and what are they now?," 25 Dec. 2020 Indeed, her comments were echoed by some of the speakers during a rally hosted by the Common Sense Campaign tea party within a public park in Spanish Fort. al, "Trump supporters rally in Alabama after Supreme Court’s decision: ‘It’s not over until it’s over’," 12 Dec. 2020 McCarthy and his team are now among the remaining leaders from the tea party era, when House Republicans last controlled Congress. Lisa Mascaro, Star Tribune, "Trump ally McCarthy is reelected leader of House Republicans," 17 Nov. 2020 Republicans, though, drew maps that favor their party when they were swept into majorities in the 2010 tea party wave during President Obama's first term. Chris Sikich, The Indianapolis Star, "After far-reaching election losses, Indiana Democrats look for answers," 16 Nov. 2020 The tea party Republican was one of a number of speakers at a plaza near the White House, where demonstrators waving flags and Trump banners readily agreed that Trump should not concede. Elizabeth Thompson, Dallas News, "Rep. Louie Gohmert sees ‘revolution’ as option in face of ‘cheated election’," 16 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tea 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 tea party

1778, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of tea party was in 1778

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tea party.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tea%20party. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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tea party


English Language Learners Definition of tea party

: an afternoon social gathering at which tea is served

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