noun, plural parties.
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 relating 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.
Heraldry. (of an escutcheon) having the field divided into a number of parts, usually two; parted.
verb (used without object), partied, partying. Informal.
to go to or give parties, especially a series of parties.
to enjoy oneself thoroughly and without restraint; indulge in pleasure.

1250–1300; Middle English partie < Old French, noun use of feminine of parti, past participle of partir < Latin partīre to share. See part

partyless, adjective
interparty, adjective
nonparty, adjective, noun, plural nonparties.
subparty, noun, plural subparties.

individual, party, people, person (see usage note at the current entry)(see usage note at people)(see synonym study at person).

1. meeting, assemblage. See company. 4. faction, circle, coterie, ring.

Party meaning “a specific individual” is old in the language, going back to the 15th century, and was formerly in common use. Today, it remains standard in limited senses, chiefly the legal, and is often used humorously or condescendingly: the party holding the balloon. The word person is the neutral and common term. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
party (ˈpɑːtɪ)
n , pl -ties
1.  a.  a social gathering for pleasure, often held as a celebration
 b.  (as modifier): party spirit
 c.  (in combination): partygoer
2.  a group of people associated in some activity: a rescue party
3.  a.  (often capital) a group of people organized together to further a common political aim, such as the election of its candidates to public office
 b.  (as modifier): party politics
4.  the practice of taking sides on public issues
5.  a person, esp one who participates in some activity such as entering into a contract
6.  the person or persons taking part in legal proceedings, such as plaintiff or prosecutor: a party to the action
7.  informal, jocular a person: he's an odd old party
8.  come to the party to take part or become involved
vb , -ties, -ties, -tying, -tied
9.  informal to celebrate; revel
10.  heraldry (of a shield) divided vertically into two colours, metals, or furs
[C13: from Old French partie part, faction, from Latin partīre to divide; see part]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 13c., "part, portion, side," from O.Fr. partie "a part, a party" (12c.), lit. "that which is divided," from fem. pp. of partir "to divide" (see part (v.)). Political sense of "side in a contest or dispute" evolved by 1300; meaning "a person" is from mid-15c. Sense of "gathering for social pleasure"
is first found 1716, from general sense of persons gathered together (originally for some specific purpose, e.g. dinner party, hunting party). The verb is first attested 1922, from the noun. Phrase the party is over is from 1937; party line is first recorded 1834 in the sense of "policy adopted by a political party," 1893 in the sense of "telephone line shared by two or more subscribers." Party pooper is from 1951, Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with party, also see life of the party.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Imagine you are holding a dinner party for a group of your friends.
Meatballs are easy to make, and they're a good way to get everyone at the party
  involved in the cooking.
She's running for increased party stature, not the presidency.
Party planning can be overwhelming, but don't let your environmentalism fall by
  the wayside in the interest of convenience.
Idioms & Phrases
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