from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A social gathering especially for pleasure or amusement.
  • noun A group of people who have gathered to participate in an activity.
  • noun A group of soldiers selected for a duty or mission.
  • noun An established political group organized to promote and support its principles and candidates for public office.
  • noun A person or group involved in an enterprise; a participant or accessory.
  • noun Law A person or entity that participates in a transaction, makes a contract, or is involved in a lawsuit as a litigant.
  • noun A subscriber to a telephone party line.
  • noun A person using a telephone.
  • noun A person.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or participating in an established political organization.
  • adjective Suitable for use at a social gathering.
  • adjective Characteristic of a pleasurable social gathering.
  • intransitive verb To celebrate or carouse at a party or similar gathering.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as parti.
  • noun A part; a portion; a division.
  • noun Part; side.
  • noun A company or number of persons ranged on one side, or united in opinion or design, in opposition to others in the community; those who favor or are united to promote certain views or opinions: as, the Liberal party; the Democratic party; the party of moral ideas.
  • noun Hence Side; cause.
  • noun A company or band of persons collected or gathered together for some particular purpose; especially, a select company invited to be present and participate in some form of amusement or entertainment: as, a pleasure-party; a dinner-party; a theater-party.
  • noun A detached part of a larger body or company; specifically (military), a detachment or small number of troops sent on a special service, as to intercept an enemy's convoy,to reconnoiter, to seek forage.
  • noun In law: One of the lit-igants in a legal proceeding; a plaintiff or de-fendant in a suit: sometimes used collectively to include all the persons named on one side.
  • noun One expressly concerned or interested in an affair: as, a party to a contract or an agreement; the party of the first part.
  • noun One who is privy to a transaction or affair, or connected with it in any way; one who is more or less of an accomplice or accessory.
  • noun A person; a particular person, as distinct from and opposed to any other; a person under special consideration; a person in general; an individual: as, an old party of my acquaintance.
  • noun Compact; treaty.
  • noun Synonyms Combination, Faction, etc. (see cabal), league, set, clique, alliance, coalition.
  • Partial; manifesting partiality.
  • Of or pertaining to a faction or party; partizan: as, party lines; party issues.
  • Divided; in part.
  • Specifically In heraldry, divided into parts, usually equal: said of the field, especially when the division is in the direction of one of the ordinaries.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb obsolete Partly.
  • adjective (Her.) Parted or divided, as in the direction or form of one of the ordinaries.
  • adjective Partial; favoring one party; partisan.
  • adjective See under Charter.
  • noun obsolete A part or portion.
  • noun A number of persons united in opinion or action, as distinguished from, or opposed to, the rest of a community or association; esp., one of the parts into which a people is divided on questions of public policy.
  • noun (Mil.) A part of a larger body of company; a detachment
  • noun A number of persons invited to a social entertainment; a select company; ; also, the entertainment itself.
  • noun One concerned or interested in an affair; one who takes part with others; a participator
  • noun The plaintiff or the defendant in a lawsuit, whether an individual, a firm, or corporation; a litigant.
  • noun Hence, any certain person who is regarded as being opposed or antagonistic to another.
  • noun Cause; side; interest.
  • noun Now accounted a vulgarism. A person.
  • noun (Law) a jury composed of different parties, as one which is half natives and half foreigners.
  • noun a partisan.
  • noun a factious and unreasonable temper, not uncommonly shown by party men.
  • noun a joint verdict.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English partie, part, side, group, from Old French, from feminine past participle of partir, to divide, from Latin partīre, from pars, part-, part; see part.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French parti ("parted"), from Latin partītus ("parted"), past participle of partiri ("to divide"). More at part.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman partie, Old French partie, from Medieval Latin partita ("a part, party"), from Latin partita, feminine of partitus, past participle of partiri ("to divide"); see part.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word party.


  • You have to tow the party line to get the nomination, even though that \'party line\ 'is so far out of the mainstream.'

    Stuck Between Iraq and a Hard Place 2007

  • Now, there you have at once the reason why we want the ballot; we want to be able to do something for the party in a substantial way, so that men may not tell us they have no room for us because we do nothing _for the party_.

    History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) Matilda Joslyn Gage 1862

  • Well, then, so far as there is no law, there is the reign of influence; there is party without of necessity _party_ action.

    Loss and Gain The Story of a Convert John Henry Newman 1845

  • The most moderate party, consisting of those who would sustain the throne, but limit its powers by a free constitution, retaining many of the institutions and customs which antiquity had rendered venerable, was called the _Girondist party_.

    Madame Roland, Makers of History 1841

  • He will only hurt himself, and do no good to his party, for in _party_ the whole thing originates.

    Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 4 (of 6) With His Letters and Journals Thomas Moore 1815

  • “If you held a party in 1980 and didn’t have this song, you didn’t have a party” vocalist Mary Davis proclaimed in her introduction to

    Kansas City Star: Front Page 2010

  • This has badly affected the morale of our party workers, € Mr Ram Gopal Yadav, who heads the party€ ™ s parliamentary wing, said here on Saturday night.

    The Economic Times 2010

  • And to find out if that person will be at a party, you can check the parties stream or perform a Twitter search (e.g. +party +Friday) in that person's stream.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Web 2.0 2009

  • Certainly, this cannot be said to be an accurate description of the position of men who believe in the rule of a nation of one hundred and eighty millions by a small party of two hundred thousand or less -- or even by an entire class representing not more than six per cent. of the population -- and Lenine and his friends, recognizing the fact, decided to change the name of their group to the _Communist party_, by which name they are now known in Russia.

    Bolshevism The Enemy of Political and Industrial Democracy John Spargo 1921

  • His Justice and Development party is socially conservative and has been called Islamist-leaning by Western journalists but that's a label party officials themselves haven't embraced.

    News 2012

  • Do pharm parties exist? Back in 2006, I concluded “no” after investigating a smattering of press stories about teenagers raiding their parents’ medicine cabinets for pharmaceuticals, gathering to share their booty in a big bowl, and swallowing the pills at random like “trail mix.” My two pieces ran on June 15 and June 19 of that year. My efforts to discredit pharm parties failed horribly, as everybody from the Wall Street Journalto the New York Timesto the Washington Postto the Birmingham News to ABC News to the Sacramento Bee to the Los Angeles Timesto Marie Osmond on Larry King Live has continued to report as if the medicinal revelries not only exist but are common.

    Debunking "pharm parties" for the third time. Jack Shafer 2008

  • The earliest mention I found on Nexis and Factiva was from the March 8, 2002, Chambersburg, Pa., Public Opinion. The reporter writes: Advertisement With prescription drug abuse, the scene could be much different. In some communities, kids have “pharming” parties. They go to their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets and take whatever drugs are there. At the parties, they throw the pills in a bowl and take a handful, [Pamela] Bennett [a flack for Purdue Parma, makers of OxyContin] said. The pills could be Viagra, antibiotics, blood pressure medication or anything else.

    Are "pharm parties" real or a media invention? Jack Shafer 2006

  • But pharm parties, where, “Bowls and baggies of random pills often … called ‘trail mix,’ ” are dispensed, as USA Today reports? My BS detector started growling the minute I spotted the piece.

    Are "pharm parties" real or a media invention? Jack Shafer 2006


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.