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[loi-uh-list] /ˈlɔɪ ə lɪst/
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.
Origin of loyalist
1640-50; loyal + -ist
Related forms
loyalism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for loyalist
  • 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.
  • loyalist paramilitaries, still armed to the teeth, may seek to even up the body-count.
  • loyalist violence is already being predicted by both police and loyalist sources.
  • loyalist snipers in buildings across the city cannot be taken out from the air without killing civilians nearby.
  • Convicted loyalist killers have said that they received help in targeting their victims from leaked information from the police.
  • Nothing wrong with being a loyalist if you are happy with your government.
  • Across open desert and through small towns, loyalist advances have been swift.
British Dictionary definitions for loyalist


a patriotic supporter of his sovereign or government
Derived Forms
loyalism, noun


(in Northern Ireland) any of the Protestants wishing to retain Ulster's link with Britain
(in North America) an American colonist who supported Britain during the War of American Independence
(in Canada) short for United Empire Loyalist
(during the Spanish Civil War) a supporter of the republican government
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for loyalist

1680s, from loyal + -ist. Meaning different persons in different times and places.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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