- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for loyalism
Punishment for loyalism was not, however, left merely to chance.Washington and his Comrades in Arms
(e) Designs of rulers, giving rise to popular or aristocratic factions—complicated by questions of succession and loyalism.The Evolution of States
J. M. Robertson
It was part of his loyalism to hate them and to interpret for the worst anything they could do or say.With Americans of Past and Present Days
J. J. Jusserand
Loyalism became an attitude of protective chivalry; nothing could have consolidated the dynasty more firmly.General Bramble
A man suspected of loyalism would be summoned to a meeting of the "sons of liberty," and ordered to take an oath to them.The Political History of England - Vol. X.
- a patriotic supporter of his sovereign or government
- (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
Word Origin and History for loyalism
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper