—n. 1. a social gathering, as of invited guests at a private home, for conversation, refreshments, entertainment, etc.: a cocktail party. 2. a group gathered for a special purpose or task: a fishing party; a search party. 3. a detachment, squad, or detail of troops assigned to perform some particular mission or service.
4. a group of persons with common purposes or opinions who support one side of a dispute, question, debate, etc.
5. a group of persons with common political opinions and purposes organized for gaining political influence and governmental control and for directing government policy: the Republican party; the Democratic party. 6. the system of taking sides on public or political questions or the like.
7. attachment or devotion to one side or faction; partisanship: to put considerations of party first. 8. Law. a. one of the litigants in a legal proceeding; a plaintiff or defendant in a suit.
b. a signatory to a legal instrument.
c. a person participating in or otherwise privy to a crime.
9. a person or group that participates in some action, affair, plan, etc.; participant: He was a party to the merger deal. 10. the person under consideration; a specific individual: Look at the party in the green velvet shorts. 11. a person or, usually, two or more persons together patronizing a restaurant, attending a social or cultural function, etc.: The headwaiter asked how many were in our party; a party of 12 French physicists touring the labs; a party of one at the small table. 12. a person participating in a telephone conversation: I have your party on the line. 13. any occasion or activity likened to a social party, as specified; session: The couple in the next apartment are having their usual dish-throwing party. 14. an advantageous or pleasurable situation or combination of circumstances of some duration and often of questionable character; period of content, license, exemption, etc.: The police broke in and suddenly the party was over for the nation's most notorious gunman.
—adj. 1. of or pertaining to a party or faction; partisan: party leaders. 2. of or for a social gathering: her new party dress. 3. being shared by or pertaining to two or more persons or things.
4. Heraldry.(of an escutcheon) having the field divided into a number of parts, usually two; parted.
—v.i.Informal. 1. to go to or give parties, esp. a series of parties.
2. to enjoy oneself thoroughly and without restraint; indulge in pleasure.