a person who is loyal; a supporter of the sovereign or of the existing government, especially in time of revolt.
(sometimes initial capital letter) a person who remained loyal to the British during the american revolution; Tory.
(initial capital letter) an adherent of the republic during the Spanish Civil War, opposed to Franco.

1640–50; loyal + -ist

loyalism, noun
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World English Dictionary
loyalist (ˈlɔɪəlɪst)
a patriotic supporter of his sovereign or government

Loyalist (ˈlɔɪəlɪst)
1.  (in Northern Ireland) any of the Protestants wishing to retain Ulster's link with Britain
2.  (in North America) an American colonist who supported Britain during the War of American Independence
3.  (in Canada) short for United Empire Loyalist
4.  (during the Spanish Civil War) a supporter of the republican government

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1680s, from loyal + -ist.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Loyalist interest in education came later and is less developed.
Then they got trounced by a far more professional loyalist military.
In the absence of mainstream unionists, loyalist paramilitaries and plain hoods
  were more prominent.
The handful of foreign reporters granted visas were carefully herded to points
  from which only loyalist rallies could be viewed.
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