- (now rare) The guests staying at a given house, as opposed to those visiting for the day. [from 19th c.]
1890, Oscar Wilde, chapter XVII, in The Picture of Dorian Gray:
- The house-party consisted of twelve people, and there were more expected to arrive on the next day.
- 1945, Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love, Penguin 2010, p. 39:
- The difference between Aunt Sadie and Uncle Matthew was not as to whether Lord Merlin should or should not be asked to the ball […] , but whether he should be asked to bring a house party.
- A social gathering at someone's house, generally with music, drinking etc. [from 20th c.]