/tawr"ee, tohr"ee/, n., pl. Tories, for 1-5, adj.n.1. a member of the Conservative Party in Great Britain or Canada.2. a member of a political party in Great Britain from the late 17th century to about 1832 that favored royal authority over Parliament and the preservation of the existing social and political order: succeeded by the Conservative party.3. (often l.c.) an advocate of conservative principles; one opposed to reform or radicalism.4. a person who supported the British cause in the American Revolution; a loyalist.5. (in the 17th century) a dispossessed Irishman who resorted to banditry, esp. after the invasion of Oliver Cromwell and suppression of the royalist cause (1649-52).6. a male or female given name.adj.7. of, belonging to, or characteristic of the Tories.8. being a Tory.9. (sometimes l.c.) opposed to reform or radicalism; conservative.[1640-50; < Ir *tóraighe outlaw, bandit, deriv. of tóir chase, pursuit]
* * *Member of a political group in England, especially in the 18th century.Originally an Irish term for an outlaw, the name was applied as a term of abuse to those who supported the hereditary right of James, the Catholic duke of York (later James II), to succeed to the throne of England. They were opposed by the Whigs in that struggle (1679), but the Tories later modified their doctrine of divine-right absolutism. They came to represent the resistance, mainly by the country gentry, to religious toleration and foreign entanglements. The Tories' political power diminished after Viscount Bolingbroke, a leading Tory, fled to France in 1715; Tory sentiment subsequently survived in the unsuccessful Jacobite movement. After 1784, William Pitt the Younger emerged as the leader of a new Tory party, representing the country gentry, merchants, and administrators. After 1815, the party gradually evolved into the Conservative Party, whose members are still referred to as Tories.
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