Republican Party

Save This Word!

one of the two major political parties in the U.S.: originated 1854–56.


Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.


What Is The Origin Of The Republican Party?

And although today’s Republican Party–also known as the Grand Old Party, or the GOP—is the party of conservatism and small government, their beginnings might surprise you.

Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Republican Party in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Republican Party

Republican Party

the more conservative of the two major political parties in the US: established around 1854Compare Democratic Party
any of a number of political parties in other countries, usually so named to indicate their opposition to monarchy
US history another name for the Democratic-Republican Party
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

Cultural definitions for Republican Party (1 of 2)

Republican party

A political party that began in 1854 and is today one of the two major political parties in the United States. Originally, it was composed mainly of northerners from both major parties of the time, the Democrats and the Whigs, with some former Know-Nothings as well. The first Republicans were united by their opposition to the expansion of slavery. Their first winning presidential candidate was Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

Cultural definitions for Republican Party (2 of 2)

Republican party

One of the two major political parties in the United States. The party began in 1854 (see under “American History to 1865”); Abraham Lincoln, elected in 1860, was the first Republican president. During Reconstruction, many Republicans were eager to punish the South for its former slaveholding and for its secession from the United States. The northern Republicans, for example, supported carpetbaggers in southern governments. After Reconstruction, the Republicans favored a high protective tariff and were generally considered the defenders of northeastern and business interests. The party supported the Spanish-American War and the expansion of United States territory overseas. Some Republicans were part of the Progressive movement of the early twentieth century. In the 1920s, the party reestablished its reputation for supporting business and as being wary of any expansion of the place of government in national life. This characterization is still a reasonably accurate, if simplistic, description of basic Republican views. Since Lincoln, the Republican presidents have been Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

notes for Republican party

The party is often called the GOP, which stands for “Grand Old Party.”

notes for Republican party

The party's symbol (see also symbol) is an elephant.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.