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

The charity is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and marking the occasion with a tea party, which Will has promised to attend. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Will Spend Part of Her Birthday Away from Prince William," 5 Jan. 2019 Since Ocasio-Cortez’s victory, many observers, including some DSA members, have compared DSA to the tea party for its potential to contest comfortable Democratic incumbents from the left. Christian Lorentzen, Daily Intelligencer, "Knocking on Doors With Julia Salazar," 6 July 2018 Because Kelly Gallaher, a local activist, is obviously the local progressive Democrat type, and village president Dave DeGroot came out of this bootcamp for tea party folks who want to go into politics. Josh Dzieza, The Verge, "An interview with Reply All’s Sruthi Pinnamaneni," 6 Dec. 2018 The city’s wharves whisper of tea parties, its libraries of literary greats, and its ballpark of curses broken. Elizabeth Wellington, Condé Nast Traveler, "16 Best Things to Do in Boston," 2 Aug. 2018 Pointing to the state's statute, Minnesota officials said before the election that neither the tea party T-shirts nor those buttons would be permitted at the polls. Jessica Gresko, chicagotribune.com, "Supreme Court strikes down Minnesota's voter clothing law," 14 June 2018 Among those who attended the arguments was Andy Cilek, one of two Minnesota voters who defied elections officials after he was asked to cover up a tea party T-shirt and button. Washington Post, "MAGA hat, #MeToo pin? Court weighs voter clothing law," 28 Feb. 2018 But don’t call them tea party Republicans any more. Lisa Mascaro, BostonGlobe.com, "Much-ballyhooed Tea Party class of House GOP fades," 4 June 2018 But don’t call them tea party Republicans any more. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Tea party class of House Republicans fades," 3 June 2018

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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Last Updated

23 Jan 2019

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The first known use of tea party was in 1778

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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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