Meaning of PARTY in English


I. ˈpär]d.ē, ˈpȧ], ]tē, -i noun

( -es )

Etymology: Middle English partie part, portion, party, body of persons forming one side (as in a contest), from Old French, from feminine of parti, past participle of partir to divide, go away — more at part

1. obsolete : a part of a whole : division , portion , share


a. : one (as a person or group) constituting alone or with others one of the two sides in a proceeding

the party of the first part and her husband … as party of the second part entered into a separation agreement — Southeastern Reporter

the two parties to a marriage contract


(1) : one (as an individual, firm, or corporation) that constitutes the plaintiff or the defendant in a lawsuit : litigant

(2) : one directly disclosed by the record to be so involved in the prosecution or defense of a proceeding as to be bound by the decision or judgment therein

(3) : one indirectly disclosed by the record as being directly interested in the subject matter of a suit or as having power to make a defense, control the proceedings, or appeal from the judgment


a. : a body of persons forming one side (as in a contest) : a group united in opinion or action as distinguished from or opposed to a similar or larger group (as the rest of a community or association) : a body of partisans or adherents

a war … in which both parties exerted their utmost strength — William Robertson †1793


(1) : a group of persons organized for the purpose of directing the policies of a government especially by providing the principal political personnel and usually having as a basis for common action one or more factors (as principle, special interest, or tradition) upon which they have substantial agreement — compare faction 1, pressure group

(2) : an organization constituted a political party under the laws of certain states (as New York) by polling a fixed number or percentage of the total votes cast at an election and thereby possessing the right to appear on the ballot at a succeeding election

(3) : the political party constituting a principal focus of loyalty or the chief means of operating a governmental system

we may deprecate some of the effects of party — Ernest Barker

compelled … to modify his aversion to party — Kenneth Mackenzie

4. archaic : one of two or more sides (as in a contest, dispute, or contract) : cause , interest

many feats of arms were there done on both parties — Richard Grafton

5. : one (as a person or group) that takes part with others in an action or affair : one of several persons engaging or concerned in a transaction : participant

should be a party in the educational council and participate freely in its deliberation — C.W.Hoff

— usually used with to

Greece and Turkey were brought in as parties to the treaty — A.P.Ryan

the candidate … was in no way a party to the transaction — S.H.Adams


a. : the individual in question or involved in the case at hand : the specific person to whom reference is made

words … which generally make the parties affected melancholy — Robert Burton

b. : a particular individual : person

he is a shameless and determined old party — Winston Churchill

a rich old party who … dies and leaves him a fortune — A.H.Weiler


[Middle French parti match, party, decision, from parti, past participle of partir to divide, go away]

obsolete : a decision on one side or the other : resolution — used chiefly in the phrase to take a party

I am not come to ask counsel … my party is taken — John Vanbrugh

8. : a group usually constituting a detachment from a larger body or company: as

a. : a small number of military personnel dispatched or detailed on special service or duty

infantry … repulsed a landing party from the British fleet — American Guide Series: Maryland

foraging party

firing party

b. : a group of people working together on a common project or assignment

the men were divided into parties of twelve, each party to build a hut — H.E.Scudder

a working party on filing systems was … appointed — Library Science Abstracts


[French parti match, party, decision, from Middle French]

archaic : match I 4b

try … to make him look upon either of your daughters as a desirable party for him — Charlotte Smith


[French partie social gathering for pleasure, part, portion, party, body of persons forming one side (as in a contest), from Old French, part, portion, party, body of persons forming one side (as in a contest)]

a. : a social gathering or assembly of persons for entertainment, amusement, or pleasure

asked to cocktail and dinner parties — Rose Thurburn

impulse to gate-crash … a private party — Encounter

dancing party

shooting party

b. : something held to resemble (as in appearance or purpose) such a social gathering: as

(1) : bee I 3

donation party

lynching party

scalping party

(2) : a social gathering where the demonstration and sale of articles is the principal feature

(3) : an occasion on which a specified person is predominant

this is your party . You're doing the talking — Erle Stanley Gardner


[French partie game (as of cards), part, portion, party, body of persons forming one side (as in a contest), from Old French, part, portion, party, body of persons forming one side (as in a contest)\]


a. : a game of cards or backgammon

b. : a match in such a game

12. : partisanship

the spirit of party which unhappily prevails amongst mankind — Joseph Butler


a. : a group of animals moving or otherwise gathered together

a party of over forty hinds with calves … passed slowly — Richard Rhodes

a lively bird seen … occasionally in small parties — Ernst Mayr

b. : a company or association of persons

a party of visitors from the country — G.B.Shaw

specifically : one formed or gathered together for a particular purpose (as travel, amusement, or attendance at a function)

join a party of thirteen American editors to visit Great Britain — Edward Bok

snowshoeing parties … visit the snow-clad headland in winter — American Guide Series: Maine

14. : an act of sexual intercourse

II. adjective

1. : being a participating, interested, or otherwise involved party — used with to

they refused to be party to any arrangement that coerced their employees — Mary K. Hammond

individuals who are party to the relationship — A.J.Vidich

2. : characterized by joint ownership or shared use

the party fence that divided his backyard from that of his sisters — J.P.Bishop

— see party line 2, party wall



(1) : of, relating to, or associated with a political party

leadership is inherent in party organization — C.J.Friedrich

a conference of rural party secretaries — F.C.Barghoorn

the party agent was … the sole official tie between the party and municipality — R.H.Wells

(2) : in, toward, or favoring a political party

a good party paper … never published fair news of the opposition — F.L.Mott

party membership

party loyalty

party discipline

b. : of, between, or based upon political parties

the party system has become … an integral part of parliamentary democracy — British Parliament

party alliances

4. : suitable for a party or similar social gathering

party dress

party manners

party cake

party game

5. : fond of or addicted to parties and high living

party boys … trying to recapture lost youth — F.J.Taylor

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

transitive verb

1. obsolete : to side with : take the part of

did assist and party them in all their enterprises — David Hume †1630?

2. : to entertain at or by means of parties

finds himself cocktailed, partied, and dined — Ray Josephs

intransitive verb

: to attend, take part in, or hold parties and other social gatherings

drinking … partying, or making love — J.W.Aldridge

this season's … social slump on partying — Alice Dameron

IV. adjective

Etymology: Middle French parti striped, party per pale — more at parti-

1. : party per pale 1

a silver leopard upon a field party gold and gules — W.H. St. John Hope

2. heraldry : divided into two or more parts having different tinctures or bearing different coats of arms

arms with party fields — W.H. St. John Hope

especially : divided into parts by a line or lines in the direction and position of one of the ordinaries — followed by a phrase beginning with per (as per bend ) or an adverb in -wise or -ways (as bendwise or bendways ) indicative of the direction and position of the partition; in modern blazon less usual than a phrase in per without preceding adj.

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.