[ pahr-tee ]
/ ˈpɑr ti /

noun, plural par·ties.


verb (used without object), par·tied, par·ty·ing. Informal.

to go to or give parties, especially a series of parties.
to enjoy oneself thoroughly and without restraint; indulge in pleasure.

Origin of party

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


Related forms

par·ty·less, adjectivein·ter·par·ty, adjectivenon·par·ty, adjective, noun, plural non·par·ties.sub·par·ty, noun, plural sub·par·ties.

Can be confused

individual party person (see usage note at the current entry)

Synonym study

1. See company.

Usage note

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.

Word story

English party, with its many senses, comes from Old French partie, whose many meanings include “part, side, portion,” literally, “something that has been divided or separated.” In form, partie is the noun use of the feminine past participle of partir “to leave, go, take off, start” (and many other senses). Partir comes from Latin partīre (also partīrī ), whose relatively few meanings include “to share, distribute, divide, divide up.”
Since the 1300s, party has taken on a number of useful meanings, including “any of the people engaged in a formal legal proceeding,” which dates from the early 14th century. First noted in the 17th century is the sense of “an organized political group or faction” ( the Party, short for "the Communist Party," would show up around 1919). Also dating from the 17th century is the term party wall, “a wall that forms a boundary between areas with different owners,” while the familiar “festive social gathering” sense of party can be traced back to the early 18th century. In the next century, party line emerged (during the 1830s) as a political term meaning “a policy or principle to be maintained,” and later (from the early 1890s) was more commonly used in the now obsolete sense of “a telephone line shared by several subscribers.” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nonparty

  • Based on Marxism-Leninism, it is geared to indoctrinate party members but is provided for nonparty members as well.

    Area Handbook for Bulgaria|Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole

British Dictionary definitions for nonparty (1 of 2)


/ (nɒnˈpɑːtɪ) /


not connected with any one political party

British Dictionary definitions for nonparty (2 of 2)


/ (ˈpɑːtɪ) /

noun plural -ties

verb -ties, -tying or -tied (intr)

informal to celebrate; revel


heraldry (of a shield) divided vertically into two colours, metals, or furs

Word Origin for party

C13: from Old French partie part, faction, from Latin partīre to divide; see part
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

Idioms and Phrases with nonparty


In addition to the idioms beginning with party

  • party line

also see:

  • life of the party
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.