Par·ty n.; pl. Parties
1. A part or portion. [Obs.] “The most party of the time.”
2. A number of persons united in opinion or action, as distinguished from, or opposed to, the rest of a community or association; esp., one of the parts into which a people is divided on questions of public policy.
Win the noble Brutus to our party. --Shak.
The peace both parties want is like to last. --Dryden.
3. A part of a larger body of company; a detachment; especially Mil., a small body of troops dispatched on special service.
4. A number of persons invited to a social entertainment; a select company; as, a dinner party; also, the entertainment itself; as, to give a party.
5. One concerned or interested in an affair; one who takes part with others; a participator; as, he was a party to the plot; a party to the contract.
6. The plaintiff or the defendant in a lawsuit, whether an individual, a firm, or corporation; a litigant.
The cause of both parties shall come before the judges. --Ex. xxii. 9.
7. Hence, any certain person who is regarded as being opposed or antagonistic to another.
If the jury found that the party slain was of English race, it had been adjudged felony. --Sir J. Davies.
8. Cause; side; interest.
Have you nothing said
Upon this Party 'gainst the Duke of Albany? --Shak.
9. A person; as, he is a queer party. [Now accounted a vulgarism.]
Note: “For several generations, our ancestors largely employed party for person; but this use of the word, when it appeared to be reviving, happened to strike, more particularly, the fancy of the vulgar; and the consequence has been, that the polite have chosen to leave it in their undisputed possession.”
Party jury Law, a jury composed of different parties, as one which is half natives and half foreigners.
Party man, a partisan. --Swift.
Party spirit, a factious and unreasonable temper, not uncommonly shown by party men. --Whately.
Party verdict, a joint verdict. --Shak.
Party wall. (a) Arch. A wall built upon the dividing line between two adjoining properties, usually having half its thickness on each property. (b) Law A wall that separates adjoining houses, as in a block or row.