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Whig (?), n. [See Whey.] Acidulated whey, sometimes mixed with buttermilk and sweet herbs, used as a cooling beverage. [Obs. or Prov. Eng.]
Whig, n. [Said to be from whiggam, a term used in Scotland in driving horses, whiggamore one who drives horses (a term applied to some western Scotchmen), contracted to whig. In 1648, a party of these people marched to Edinburgh to oppose the king and the duke of Hamilton (the Whiggamore raid), and hence the name of Whig was given to the party opposed to the court. Cf. Scot. whig to go quickly.]
1. (Eng. Politics) One of a political party which grew up in England in the seventeenth century, in the reigns of Charles I. and II., when great contests existed respecting the royal prerogatives and the rights of the people. Those who supported the king in his high claims were called Tories, and the advocates of popular rights, of parliamentary power over the crown, and of toleration to Dissenters, were, after 1679, called Whigs. The terms Liberal and Radical have now generally superseded Whig in English politics. See the note under Tory.
2. (Amer. Hist.) (a) A friend and supporter of the American Revolution; -- opposed to Tory, and Royalist. (b) One of the political party in the United States from about 1829 to 1856, opposed in politics to the Democratic party.
Whig, a. Of or pertaining to the Whigs.