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

First recorded in 1640–50; loyal + -ist
Related formsloy·al·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for loyalism

Historical Examples of loyalism

British Dictionary definitions for loyalism



a patriotic supporter of his sovereign or government
Derived Formsloyalism, 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

Word Origin and History for loyalism

1812, from loyal + -ism.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper