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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Tory \To"ry\, n.; pl. Tories. [ Properly used of the Irish bogtrotters who robbed and plundered during the English civil wars, professing to be in sympathy with the royal cause; hence transferred to those who sought to maintain the extreme prerogatives of the crown; probably from Ir. toiridhe, tor, a pursuer; akin to Ir. & Gael. toir a pursuit.]

  1. (Eng. Politics) A member of the conservative party, as opposed to the progressive party which was formerly called the Whig, and is now called the Liberal, party; an earnest supporter of existing royal and ecclesiastical authority.

    Note: The word Tory first occurs in English history in 1679, during the struggle in Parliament occasioned by the introduction of the bill for the exclusion of the duke of York from the line of succession, and was applied by the advocates of the bill to its opponents as a title of obloquy or contempt. The Tories subsequently took a broader ground, and their leading principle became the maintenance of things as they were. The name, however, has for several years ceased to designate an existing party, but is rather applied to certain traditional maxims of public policy. The political successors of the Tories are now commonly known as Conservatives.
    --New Am. Cyc.

  2. (Amer. Hist.) One who, in the time of the Revolution, favored submitting to the claims of Great Britain against the colonies; an adherent to the crown.


Tory \To"ry\, a. Of or pertaining to the Tories.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1566, "an outlaw," specifically "one of a class of Irish robbers noted for outrages and savage cruelty," from Irish toruighe "plunderer," originally "pursuer, searcher," from Old Irish toirighim "I pursue," from toir "pursuit," from Celtic *to-wo-ret- "a running up to," from PIE root *ret- "to run, roll" (see rotary).\n

\nAbout 1646, it emerged as a derogatory term for Irish Catholics dispossessed of their land (some of whom subsequently turned to outlawry); c.1680 applied by Exclusioners to supporters of the Catholic Duke of York (later James II) in his succession to the throne of England. After 1689, Tory was the name of a British political party at first composed of Yorkist Tories of 1680. Superseded c.1830 by Conservative, though it continues to be used colloquially. In American history, Tory was the name given after 1769 to colonists who remained loyal to George III of England; it represents their relative position in the pre-revolutionary English political order in the colonies. As an adjective from 1680s.


a. (alternative capitalization of Tory English) n. (alternative capitalization of Tory English)

Tory (disambiguation)

A Tory holds a political philosophy (Toryism) based on the traditionalism and conservatism, originally from the Cavalier faction in the English Civil War.

Tory may also refer to:


A Tory holds a political philosophy (Toryism) based on a British version of traditionalism and conservatism. In politics, the Tory political faction originated with the Cavalier faction during the English Civil War. This political philosophy is prominent in the politics of the United Kingdom, and also appears in parts of the Commonwealth of Nations, particularly in Canada. It also had exponents in parts of the former British Empire, such as the Loyalists of British America who opposed American secession during the American Revolutionary War. The Tory ethos has been summed up with the phrase "God, King and Country". Tories generally advocate monarchism, are usually of a high church Anglican religious heritage, and are opposed to the liberalism of the Whig faction. Under the Corn Laws (1815–1846) a majority of Tories supported protectionist agrarianism with tariffs being imposed at the time for sustainability, self-sufficiency and enhanced wages in rural employment.

The Tory political faction originally emerged within the Parliament of England to uphold the legitimist rights of James II, Duke of York, to succeed his brother Charles II to the throne. James was a Catholic while the state institutions had broken from the Catholic Church—this was an issue for the Exclusion Crisis supporting Patricians, the political heirs to the nonconformist Roundheads and Covenanters. There were two Tory ministries under James II; the first led by Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester, the second by Lord Belasyse. A significant faction took part in the ousting of James II with the Whigs to defend the Anglican Church or definitive protestantism. A large but dwindling faction of Tories held sympathy for Catholic Stuart heirs to the throne from the 1714 accession of George I of Great Britain, the first Hanoverian monarch, many of which supported Jacobitism, the military campaigns of which saw them lost and castigated. Although only a minority of Tories gave their adhesion to the Jacobite risings, it was used by the Whigs to completely discredit the Tories and paint them as traitors. After the advent of the Prime Ministerial system under the Whig Robert Walpole, John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute's premiership in the reign of George III marked a revival.

Conservatism emerged by the end of the 18th century—it synthesised moderate Whig economic positions and many Tory social values to create a new political philosophy and faction, in opposition to the French Revolution. Edmund Burke and William Pitt the Younger led the way in this. Interventionism and a strong military were to prove a hallmark of Toryism under subsequent Prime Ministers. Due to these Tories leading the formation of the Conservative Party, members of the party are colloquially referred to as Tories, even if they are not traditionalists. Actual adherents to traditional Toryism in contemporary times may be referred to as " High Tories" as the traditionalist conservative values of Toryism differ from that of the more liberal and cosmopolitan parts of the Conservative Party.

Usage examples of "tory".

One highly impressive exhibit of early state legislative power is afforded by the ferocious catalogue of legislation directed against the Tories, embracing acts of confiscation, bills of pains and penalties, even acts of attainder.

But he never had a chance of distinguishing himself in her, never met a Frenchman who was his match, which was a pity, because there never was a man who longed for glory more, or who worked harder for it - even Old Jarvie praised the order Druid was kept in, although the Brokes are Tories, and always have been.

Old Jarvie praised the order Druid was kept in, although the Brokes are Tories, and always have been.

Yet as a young man in the early sixties Burgo had exuded an air of vulnerability which appealed to Tory ladies of all ages.

The Tory ladies, so vital to the party, had believed Burgo Smyth to be vulnerable, in need of loving care.

Of the Tories included in the last broadcast everyone, including Labour supporters, had to agree that Burgo Smyth was the star.

The Radical Parson, the upholder of Chartism, was in many ways a strong Tory.

As president of most of the family holding companies, Tory exercises enormous influence.

David Willetts resigned as Paymaster General after being criticised by the Standards and Privileges Committee, and Sir John Gorst said that the Government could no longer rely on his support as a Tory backbencher, which left his party teetering on the brink of losing its overall majority.

Roy, a Quebec Conservative, resigned from his party, he placed on Hansard a bitter indictment of Tory policies.

Liberals, Social Democrats, right-wing Labourites and left-of-centre Tories.

Tory jerked the collar of his mackinaw up around his ears, pulled his Stetson low on his forehead and prayed that he was keeping his horse in a straight line.

The rebels in Georgia threaten us, the Tories at Pensacola warn us, the Seminoles are gathering, the Minorcans are arming, the blacks in the Carolinas watch us, and the British regiments at Augustine are all itching to ravage and plunder and drive us into the sea if we declare not for the King who pays them.

A monster meeting was held on Newhall Hill, and there, in half a dozen words, Muntz sounded the knell of the new Tory Ministry.

The versatile gentleman, whom the Peelites delighted to honour, and who was also much in favour with the Manchester party, was supposed to be favourable to a coalition between his followers and the Tories.