tea party


a social gathering, usually in the afternoon, at which tea and light refreshments are served.
(initial capital letters) a conservative political movement in the U.S. that opposes taxes and government spending: named in reference to the Boston Tea Party of 1773.

Origin of tea party

First recorded in 1770–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for tea party


Examples from the Web for tea party

Contemporary Examples of tea party

Historical Examples of tea party

  • And the tea-party, under Gino's adroit management, receded ever and ever before her.

  • She asked all her friends to a Japanese tea-party in Mr. Robinson's room.

    Audrey Craven

    May Sinclair

  • Revere does not mention the fact that he was himself a member of the Tea-Party.

  • You must have been bleeding for some time before we broke in on the tea-party.

    The Grell Mystery

    Frank Froest

  • So we must get along now, and get out the invitations for the tea-party.

    On the Heels of De Wet

    The Intelligence Officer

British Dictionary definitions for tea party

tea party


a social gathering in the afternoon at which tea is served

Tea Party


(in the US) a political movement, associated with the right wing of the Republican Party, favouring reduction in taxation and government spending

Word Origin for Tea Party

C21: after the Boston Tea 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

Word Origin and History for tea party

1778, from tea + party (n.). Political references to tea party all trace to the Boston tea party of 1773, in which radicals in Massachusetts colony boarded British ships carrying tea and threw the product into Boston Harbor in protest royal taxation. It has been a model for other libertarian political actions in the U.S. (mostly symbolic), including citizen gatherings begun in early 2009 to protest government spending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper