Pronunciation: (pär'tē), [key]
— n., pl. adj., v., -ties, -tied, -ty•ing.
- a social gathering, as of invited guests at a private home, for conversation, refreshments, entertainment, etc.: a cocktail party.
- a group gathered for a special purpose or task: a fishing party; a search party.
- a detachment, squad, or detail of troops assigned to perform some particular mission or service.
- a group of persons with common purposes or opinions who support one side of a dispute, question, debate, etc.
- a group of persons with common political opinions and purposes organized for gaining political influence and governmental control and for directing government policy: the Republican party; the Democratic party.
- the system of taking sides on public or political questions or the like.
- attachment or devotion to one side or faction; partisanship: to put considerations of party first.
- one of the litigants in a legal proceeding; a plaintiff or defendant in a suit.
- a signatory to a legal instrument.
- a person participating in or otherwise privy to a crime.
- a person or group that participates in some action, affair, plan, etc.; participant: He was a party to the merger deal.
- the person under consideration; a specific individual: Look at the party in the green velvet shorts.
- a person or, usually, two or more persons together patronizing a restaurant, attending a social or cultural function, etc.: The headwaiter asked how many were in our party; a party of 12 French physicists touring the labs; a party of one at the small table.
- a person participating in a telephone conversation: I have your party on the line.
- any occasion or activity likened to a social party, as specified; session: The couple in the next apartment are having their usual dish-throwing party.
- an advantageous or pleasurable situation or combination of circumstances of some duration and often of questionable character; period of content, license, exemption, etc.: The police broke in and suddenly the party was over for the nation's most notorious gunman.
- of or pertaining to a party or faction; partisan: party leaders.
- of or for a social gathering: her new party dress.
- being shared by or pertaining to two or more persons or things.
- (of an escutcheon) having the field divided into a number of parts, usually two; parted.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.