torch·​bear·​er | \ ˈtȯrch-ˌber-ər How to pronounce torchbearer (audio) \

Definition of torchbearer

1 : one that carries a torch
2 : someone in the forefront of a campaign, crusade, or movement

Examples of torchbearer in a Sentence

He became the torchbearer for civil rights.
Recent Examples on the Web Den Hollander claimed to be a torchbearer for men's rights. Gail Abbott Zimmerman, CBS News, 9 Sep. 2021 These were working-class towns voting for a government led by Boris Johnson, a scion of English privilege and a torchbearer for the very free-market forces that saw Britain’s industrial centers eviscerated. Henry Wismayer, Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2021 The torchbearer who lit the cauldron was Yoshinori Sakai, a 19-year-old at the time who was born in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945 — the same day the Americans dropped the atomic bomb on the city. Stephen Wade, ajc, 29 July 2021 Her selection as the final torchbearer at the opening ceremony on Friday demonstrated how eager the Olympic organizers were to promote Japan as a diverse culture. New York Times, 27 July 2021 The champion tennis player, 23, lit up the stage at the opening ceremony on Friday night as the final torchbearer for the Olympic flame — and with her newly red hair. Julie Mazziotta,, 23 July 2021 The event was designed to showcase Nazi Germany's growing power, and a young, blonde-haired runner, Fritz Schilgen, was selected as the final torchbearer for his Aryan appearance. CNN, 22 July 2021 Yet those who know Harrison best insisted that his greatest contribution to the sport might be his visible presence as a torchbearer who paved the way for Rhamel and Shamel Bratton, Myles Jones, Pat Young and more players of color. Edward Lee,, 21 June 2021 As that disparity has widened, some members say the association has become less a torchbearer of Hollywood to the wider world than a private retirement cushion for older members and a reliable income stream for nearly everyone else. Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of torchbearer was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

21 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Torchbearer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for torchbearer



English Language Learners Definition of torchbearer

: someone who carries a torch at the head of a group of people
: someone who leads a campaign, movement, etc.


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