n. pl. To·ries
a. A member of a British political party, founded in 1689, that was the opposition party to the Whigs and has been known as the Conservative Party since about 1832.
b. A member of a Conservative party, as in Canada.
2. An American who, during the period of the American Revolution, favored the British side. Also called Loyalist.
3. often tory A supporter of traditional political and social institutions against the forces of democratization or reform; a political conservative.
[Irish Gaelic tóraidhe, robber, from Old Irish tóir, pursuit; see ret- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.