Definition of torchbearer in US English:



  • 1A person who carries a ceremonial torch.

    • ‘Hundreds of other torch-bearers dressed in colourful costumes will follow.’
    • ‘The silver medalist at the Atlanta Games four years ago was the final torch-bearer entrusted with lighting the Olympic cauldron.’
    • ‘This was the institution of mysteries, with hierophants [chief priests] and torch-bearers complete.’
    • ‘The talented dancer will have the world's gaze on her when she becomes one of the torch-bearers carrying the Olympic flame through London.’
    • ‘He was selected as one of Britain's 80 torch-bearers in his role as a member of amateur cross-country club, South London Harriers.’
    • ‘At a signal from Geiseric, torch-bearers in scarlet silk appeared out of the shadows and stood in a ring around the gaming-space below the king's table, like the floor of a miniature amphitheater.’
    • ‘There were little torch-bearers who declared the ‘mini Olympic’ open, there was a march past as part of the event and even cheerleaders.’
    • ‘She has even agreed to be one of the final torch-bearers at this year's Olympic Games in Athens.’
    • ‘The dead queen's coffin, draped in black velvet on an open car, was drawn to Westminster by six horses through streets lined with torch-bearers.’
    • ‘After weeks of speculation, it has been decided that he will be the final Olympic torch-bearer in the Sydney leg of the Athens torch relay.’
    • ‘Whip-crackers lead the way for the two-kilometre long procession, beating the road with their whips to herald the procession, while torch-bearers, with copra lamps held high, pour a magic and romantic light onto the spectacle.’
    • ‘They carefully maneuvered around the body and the blood to avoid getting any on themselves, then followed the torch-bearer to what had previously been Darmain's cell.’
    • ‘In Los Angeles, one of the torch-bearers was the oldest living Greek Olympian.’
    • ‘The final torch-bearer was the greatest distance runner and a native Finn.’
    • ‘The Bulgarian itinerary for the Olympic Torch Relay will include 25 selected torch-bearers of all professional backgrounds, and ages varying from 14 to 80.’
    advocate, proponent, promoter, proposer, supporter, standard-bearer, torch-bearer, defender, protector, upholder, backer, exponent, patron, sponsor, prime mover
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    1. 1.1 A person who leads or inspires others in working toward a valued goal.
      ‘some of the original feminist torchbearers’
      • ‘Local legends invariably eulogize a small band of the faithful who arrive as torch-bearers of the faith in the hostile terrain and face the resistance of the infidel populace.’
      • ‘Vedanta and KCM, being the good partners they have proved, should be torch-bearers in helping realise such a dream.’
      • ‘Many torch-bearers of human rights and social activists paid the price of fearlessly treading the path of political justice with their lives.’
      • ‘The country to show that it has embraced democracy should be a torch-bearer in promoting dialogue.’
      • ‘This unique group are the torch-bearers of the traditional culture of these celebrated and almost mythical islands of the West of Ireland.’
      • ‘They are convicted and must, if the US people are to reclaim their until now unchallenged position as torch-bearers for a better world, be booted out of office at the earliest opportunity.’
      • ‘Her role has been that of a supporter and torch-bearer of all issues regarding others, except her.’
      • ‘The insistence on the exclusion of English has become, as of now, a sort of status symbol, a touchstone of supremacy and learning, to many of our linguistic torch-bearers, not to speak of their avowed predilection for regionalism.’
      • ‘The refreshingly younger torch-bearers of York jazz continue their regular jam sessions on Sunday night at the Black Swan, Peasholme Green.’
      • ‘That said, Pop's jam sessions with today's torch-bearers aren't, as one would fear, pathetic indicators of a musical mid-life crisis.’
      • ‘Despite her own courageous fundraising, her thoughts turned afterwards to other torch-bearers she had met, including the ex-boxer who was left brain-damaged after a fight 13 years ago.’
      • ‘In a sport beset by serious doping problems, he was always regarded as a torch-bearer.’
      • ‘Writers, who are considered as the torch-bearers of modernism in Malayalam literature, were launched almost at the same time.’
      • ‘They were the people who were to become - within a decade - the torch-bearers of Celtic Tiger Ireland.’
      • ‘A bright-eyed and smiling torch-bearer, she leads the only private, non-profit organisation devoted to on-site conservation of monuments and sites worldwide.’
      • ‘Their catalog is exceedingly effects-laden, perhaps too experimental for pop purists, but much too tuneful for diehard psychedelic torch-bearers.’
      • ‘The tabloids - bless those torch-bearers of journalistic integrity - called it outrageous and sleazy.’
      • ‘But they are wrong to believe he was a torch-bearer of post-existentialist philosophy.’
      • ‘Tonight, as the body of Pope John Paul II lies in state, the world continues to mourn this remarkable man, a torch-bearer of peace and a bridge-builder between faiths, someone who inspired so many.’
      • ‘While the prospects for a successful challenge through the courts or via the FA appear increasingly forlorn, the south-west London torch-bearers undoubtedly have one major advantage: commercial clout.’
      pioneer, trailblazer, groundbreaker, experimenter, trendsetter, front runner, leader, leading light, guiding light, torch-bearer, pacemaker, originator, instigator, initiator, innovator, avant-gardist, developer, creator, discoverer, founder, founding father, architect
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