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

In a party traditionally led by older, gray-haired men, Shaked at 39 not only was an ideological torchbearer but literally a fresh face: a young, stylish woman. Sam Sokol,, "How Ayelet Shaked came to dominate the right-wing religious camp in Israel," 7 Aug. 2019 Over his prolific, decade-long career, Segall has proved to be a torchbearer of California rock, veering from surf garage to frenetic hardcore to desert-hewn psychedelia, in a lane all his own. Andrea Domanick, Los Angeles Times, "Inside rocker Ty Segall’s two-month L.A. residency: ‘This is too crazy to work’," 31 July 2019 THE SWAMP Socialist torchbearers flame out in key races, despite blitz by Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Trump's lawyers vow not to let him fall for 'perjury trap'; Tight Ohio race heading for recount?," 9 Aug. 2018 Since debuting in 2011, The Internet has quietly become one of bedroom R&B’s torchbearers, thanks to the plush melodies of singer-songwriter Syd. Billboard, "The Internet's Syd Wants to Be 'A Pioneer' For Queer Women," 14 June 2018 Although the latest torchbearer has arguably taken sweeper-keeping to an even greater extreme., "World Cup Countdown: The Heroics of Sweeper-Keeper Manuel Neuer Help Germany to 4th World Cup," 14 June 2018 Some are calling Ocasio the new torchbearer for the far left of the Democratic Party. Fox News, "Ingraham: Democrats racing to the left," 28 June 2018 As torchbearers for the counterculture, Vouga, 30, and his partner, Lauren Tackberry, 27, have created a home in Berkeley that is refreshingly devoid of the superficial gleam that disposable modernism often emits. Leilani Marie Labong, San Francisco Chronicle, "Peace, love and a ’70s vibe rock a Berkeley home," 1 June 2018 Until scandal cost him his job and his reputation, Rowland was seen as the Connecticut Republican Party’s torchbearer. Matthew Ormseth,, "John Rowland, Former Governor Convicted Of Corruption And Fraud, Released From Custody," 27 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of torchbearer

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about torchbearer

Dictionary Entries near torchbearer



torch azalea


torch cactus

torch dance


Statistics for torchbearer

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for torchbearer

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on torchbearer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with torchbearer

Comments on torchbearer

What made you want to look up torchbearer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!