Definition of Tory in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtɔːri/

noun (plural Tories)

1(In the UK) a member or supporter of the Conservative Party: a poll showed the Tories thirteen points behind Labour
More example sentences
  • But the Liberal Democrats and the Tories did not make the breakthrough in councils they hoped for.
  • Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats all stand full square behind the private sector
  • There is no great victory in this for the Tories or Liberal Democrats.
1.1A member of the English political party opposing the exclusion of James II from the succession. It remained the name for members of the English, later British, parliamentary party supporting the established religious and political order until the emergence of the Conservative Party in the 1830s. Compare with Whig (sense 1).
Example sentences
  • The Whigs owed their name, like the Tories, to the exclusion crisis of Charles II's reign.
  • Disraeli had resisted the attempts of some of his party faithful to make the Tories a solely Anglican party.
  • It was much broader than Tory or church party and avoided the divisive names of Whig and Tory at a time when many were combining to overthrow Walpole.
2US A colonist who supported the British side during the War of American Independence.


Relating to the British Conservative Party or its supporters: the Tory party Tory voters
More example sentences
  • Conversely, the monarchical tradition in Europe and Canada fostered Tory statism.
  • His childhood home was in Winton, a working-class area far in its culture from the conventional view of Bournemouth as a retirement home for Britain's highest concentration of Tory voters.
  • There is a grain of truth here, but we are all now too conscious of middle-class socialists, Tory workers, and the like, to pursue this line uncritically.



Pronunciation: /ˈtɔːrɪɪz(ə)m/
Example sentences
  • The collapse of Toryism in Scotland has rendered many of these differences irrelevant but it's still the case that my middle-class Tory friends tend to be Rangers supporters.
  • He felt he could no longer support the Conservatives but overall he says, it was the difficulty of marrying his own one nation Toryism with the convictions of the paper's owner that ultimately proved insuperable.
  • ‘I want to reassert the tradition of liberal, one-nation Toryism and break with the image of extremism which is threatening our party,’ he said.


Mid 17th century: probably from Irish toraidhe 'outlaw, highwayman', from tóir 'pursue'. The word was used of Irish peasants dispossessed by English settlers and living as robbers, and extended to other marauders especially in the Scottish Highlands. It was then adopted circa1679 as an abusive nickname for supporters of the Catholic James II.

Words that rhyme with Tory

cacciatore, Corey, dory, Florey, flory, furore, glory, gory, hoary, hunky-dory, lory, Maury, monsignori, Montessori, multistorey, Pori, Rory, satori, saury, storey, story, vainglory

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Tory

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.