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 Ever the hopeful Carnival torchbearer, Dean predicted that if Mardi Gras parades are somehow limited in 2021, the revelry will boom bigger than before in 2022. Michael Dumas, al, "Cancellation spurs fear for 2021 Mardi Gras fate," 27 Aug. 2020 While Den Hollander may have harbored misogyny his entire life, this was a crucible that launched him as a torchbearer for men’s rights and, in July, a killer. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, "'Lunatic hiding in plain sight': The bitter tale of a woman-hating lawyer who killed a rival and a judge's son," 1 Aug. 2020 The latest in a long line of jazz torchbearers, Marsalis was an icon who also taught the next generation of local musicians — Harry Connick Jr., Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison — how to join him onstage. Andrew J. Yawn, USA TODAY, "Jazz funerals, normally a 'celebration of life,' are silenced: New Orleans grieves differently now," 25 Apr. 2020 After High Priestess Xanthi Georgiou lights the flame, Korakaki will serve as first torchbearer, according to the official website of the Olympic Games. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "A Greek athlete chosen to be the first woman to ever start the Olympic Torch Relay," 8 Feb. 2020 The arrival of the Olympic flame initiates a relay for torchbearers around all of Japan’s prefectures before a cauldron is lighted with the flame in the National Stadium in Tokyo during the opening ceremony. Alastair Gale, WSJ, "Olympic Flame Arrives in Japan With Summer Games Up in the Air," 20 Mar. 2020 Analysts say that is in large part because of political changes in Italy, where the country’s anti-E.U. and migrant-bashing torchbearer, Matteo Salvini, recently lost his place as interior minister after fumbling a bid for more power. Washington Post, "These four E.U. countries are trying to end political standoffs over rescued migrants," 23 Sep. 2019 Neeraj Jain Indian women are emerging as the torchbearers of defiance—and Bollywood isn’t far behind. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "As India rises in dissent, Bollywood reveals its real heroes: the women," 8 Jan. 2020 Nick Gilbert was one of the eight torchbearers who helped light a 26-foot-tall menorah. Bisma Parvez, Detroit Free Press, "Dan Gilbert spotted at Detroit's Menorah in the D ceremony," 23 Dec. 2019

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

8 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Torchbearer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce torchbearer (audio)

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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