Definition of partisan in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈpɑːtɪzan//ˌpɑːtɪˈzan/


  • 1A strong supporter of a party, cause, or person.

    ‘partisans of the exiled Stuarts’
    • ‘Democratic partisans believe they smell blood in the water, and their instinct is to swarm.’
    • ‘She is assigned to serve with a cadre of British agents supporting the anti-fascist partisans.’
    • ‘Today, as in the past, chefs are grouped into ‘schools’ with debates raging between the partisans of one and supporters of another.’
    • ‘We cannot let partisans drive an ideological stake in the heart of public broadcasting.’
    • ‘Unlike many of his colleagues, who operate as adjuncts of the Democratic Party, Hair wasn't a partisan.’
    • ‘Well, it just means that I don't consider myself a political partisan in the sense that we back one party or another.’
    • ‘Demonstrations by partisans of both sides turned increasingly aggressive last week.’
    • ‘Also, the fact that party partisans are put in charge of running the elections is crazy and is an obvious conflict of interest.’
    • ‘They're igniting a great deal of enthusiasm and energy among partisans, at least among some of the very political blogs out there.’
    • ‘The numerous controversies between State advocates and partisans of private initiative explain this lag.’
    • ‘True democracy is dreaded by partisans of the old left and right alike.’
    • ‘What Pryor demonstrated in the Ten Commandments controversy is that he is not a partisan nor an ideologue.’
    • ‘So what was it that seemingly turned him into a Democratic partisan?’
    • ‘It was what allowed him to stack the party with his partisans and essentially take over and begin purges.’
    • ‘This appears to be the case because as the campaign progressed each did a good job securing support from their weak partisans.’
    • ‘But some are beginning to participate in an activity once thought to be the preserve of technology geeks and political partisans.’
    • ‘His tone also makes clear that this volume essays is intended only for Democratic partisans.’
    • ‘Remember that you are not partisans or advocates in this matter.’
    • ‘The legal battle is being closely followed nationwide by partisans on both sides of the right to die issue.’
    • ‘Pro-independence partisans in Taiwan's ruling party are admitting the island cannot live apart from China’
    supporter, follower, adherent, devotee, champion, backer, upholder, promoter, fanatic, fan, enthusiast, stalwart, zealot, disciple, votary
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  • 2A member of an armed group formed to fight secretly against an occupying force, in particular one operating in German-occupied Yugoslavia, Italy, and parts of eastern Europe in the Second World War.

    ‘the partisans opened fire from the woods’
    [as modifier] ‘it is not in the nature of partisan warfare to produce victory in the field’
    • ‘At another leg of the march, government partisans opened fire, wounding two demonstrators.’
    • ‘When guerrilla or partisan warfare further exasperated him, Grant proposed radical measures.’
    • ‘By July 1943, the number of partisans fighting against the Germans was estimated at 142,000.’
    • ‘At the beginning of the protest, Aristide partisans attacked demonstrators, hitting one with a rock and shooting another.’
    • ‘Similar atrocities occurred throughout occupied Europe after attacks by partisans or agents on German troops.’
    • ‘A combination of superior tactics, better use of material, and fierce military and partisan fighting led to Soviet victory.’
    • ‘They marched off to fight the partisans or the Russians ‘to protect Europe’.’
    • ‘Henceforth, they found themselves in increasingly open, partisan warfare.’
    • ‘The partisans fought a revolutionary war in a constantly shifting pattern, and their leadership did so with a political aim.’
    • ‘Whether the same is true in the realm of the very small - the warfare of guerrillas, partisans, and terrorists - is more difficult to say.’
    • ‘As the Wehrmacht had to change from attack to defence, the division was deployed to fight against partisans.’
    • ‘They were eventually able to combine with the partisans and force a German surrender.’
    • ‘Lithuania put up the strongest struggle, with partisans holding out until 1953.’
    • ‘He reminded listeners that in 1943 Yugoslav partisans in Serbia fought against numerically superior German forces and won.’
    • ‘Giovanni Pesce fought with the partisans during the Second World War.’
    • ‘Large areas were still held by partizans behind the German lines, and the Soviet forces tried to link up with them using airborne forces.’
    • ‘And, in fact, if it hadn't been for outside support the partisans would have been wiped out in no time.’
    • ‘German martial law refused to recognize the Italian partisans as a war party.’
    • ‘His work as an army intelligence officer later took him to Sicily and then Italy where he fought with the partisans.’
    • ‘Only when the occupying troops proved more vicious than the partisans did rural communities support the resistance.’
    guerrilla, freedom fighter, resistance fighter, member of the resistance, underground fighter, irregular soldier, irregular
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  • Prejudiced in favour of a particular cause.

    ‘newspapers have become increasingly partisan’
    • ‘He urged both parties to cool their rhetoric and put the nation's interest ahead of partisan advantage.’
    • ‘It is not unheard of for countries to put aside partisan differences in the national interest, usually when the enemy is at the gates.’
    • ‘I have the advantage of not being a professional politician and not depending on partisan interests.’
    • ‘The news media should not be complacent about the fact that so relatively few people see ideological or partisan bias.’
    • ‘It is part of the sincerity of rational arguments that they are never knowingly glosses for partisan prejudices.’
    • ‘But take partisan loyalties out of the equation and I will favour art over honest endeavour, every time.’
    • ‘They have already used the Justice Department in the pre-election legal challenges for partisan purposes.’
    • ‘It's getting very hard to attribute these kinds of responses to sheer ignorance - or even partisan bias.’
    • ‘There is a thinly veiled measure of ideological and partisan bias driving this entire matter.’
    • ‘In the current climate, it would probably be dismissed as partisan bias.’
    • ‘Making the system even worse are media bookers who want predictable, preferably partisan views.’
    • ‘I just regret that it was made public for very partisan, political reasons that I don't think were good for the country.’
    • ‘Of course, many of those who were right about the war were only right because of their own partisan prejudices.’
    • ‘But this passionate and partisan book does far more than revive interest in a neglected writer.’
    • ‘Where divination is by trance-mediumship the prophet is often a stranger, a person deemed free from partisan interests.’
    • ‘There could be no question of partisan bias, which is not unknown in the world of experts.’
    • ‘Special interest groups and partisan politics have blocked all efforts at reform since 1986.’
    • ‘But this sense of crisis obviously pales in the face of partisan interests.’
    • ‘In reality, the danger to democracy and Scottish interests came from cronyism, reinforced by partisan voting.’
    • ‘I have seen that privilege subordinated to partisan interests.’
    biased, prejudiced, one-sided, coloured, discriminatory, preferential, partial, interested, parti pris, bigoted, sectarian, factional, unjust, unfair, inequitable, unbalanced
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Mid 16th century: from French, via Italian dialect from Italian partigiano, from parte part (from Latin pars, part-).