Definition of Tory noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈtɔːri//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈtɔːri//
(pl. Tories) (informal)
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a member or supporter of the British Conservative party The Tories (= the Tory party) lost the election. Culture Historically, a Tory was a member of one of the two main political parties in Britain from the 1670s until the 1830s. The Tories were originally a group of politicians who wanted the Roman Catholic James, Duke of York (later James II) to be allowed to become king of England. They were powerful for various periods during the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 1830s, the Tories developed into the Conservative Party and the name is widely used as an informal alternative name for the Conservative Party. Word Originmid 17th cent.: 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 c.1679 as an abusive nickname for supporters of the Catholic James II.

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