[tawr-ee, tohr-ee]

noun, plural To·ries, for 1–5.


Origin of Tory

1640–50; < Irish *tóraighe outlaw, bandit, derivative of tóir chase, pursuit



a suffix occurring in loanwords from Latin, originally adjectival derivatives of agent nouns ending in -tor (predatory); also forming adjectival derivatives directly from verbs (obligatory; transitory).

Origin of -tory

< Latin -tōrius, equivalent to -tōr- -tor + -ius adj. suffix



a suffix occurring in loanwords from Latin, usually derivatives from agent nouns ending in -tor or directly from verbs, denoting a place or object appropriate for the activity of the verb: dormitory; repository.

Origin of -tory

< Latin -tōrium, noun use of neuter of -tōrius -tory1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tory

Contemporary Examples of tory

Historical Examples of tory

  • The young Tory's first election address was delivered upon this occasion.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • I can enjoy the orthodox Tory, though I could never understand him.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • But King George and his Tory ministers were obstinate to folly.

    The Nation in a Nutshell

    George Makepeace Towle

  • Willis was a Tory, and pronounced it possible, and indeed probable.

  • That kind of thing is intolerable to a gentleman, and a Tory is a gentleman.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

British Dictionary definitions for tory


noun plural -ries

a member or supporter of the Conservative Party in Great Britain or Canada
a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679–80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s
an American supporter of the British cause; loyalistCompare Whig
(sometimes not capital) an ultraconservative or reactionary
(in the 17th century) an Irish Roman Catholic, esp an outlaw who preyed upon English settlers


of, characteristic of, or relating to Tories
(sometimes not capital) ultraconservative or reactionary
Derived FormsToryish, adjectiveToryism, noun

Word Origin for Tory

C17: from Irish tōraidhe outlaw, from Middle Irish tōir pursuit
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 tory



1566, "an outlaw," specifically "a robber," from Irish toruighe "plunderer," originally "pursuer, searcher," from Old Irish toirighim "I pursue," related to toracht "pursuit." About 1646, it emerged as a derogatory term for Irish Catholics dispossessed of their land (some of whom subsequently turned to outlawry); c.1680 applied by Exclusioners to supporters of the Catholic Duke of York (later James II) in his succession to the throne of England. After 1689, Tory was the name of a British political party at first composed of Yorkist Tories of 1680. Superseded c.1830 by Conservative, though it continues to be used colloquially. In American history, Tory was the name given after 1769 to colonists who remained loyal to George III of England.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper