Combination, combine, party, bloc, faction, ring denote a union, either of individuals or of organized interests, for mutual support in obtaining common political or private ends.
Combination is the most comprehensive of these terms, being applicable to any such union whether a trust, an alliance, or simply an association for the purpose of urging demands or resisting claims.
Combine is often interchangeable, especially in informal use, with combination. Often it may connote a combination with an improper or illegal aim in view.
A party is a number of persons united in support of some opinion, cause, or principle; it usually implies a similar body in opposition, especially when used in reference to a political organization built up to continue the action and policies of government through election of its candidates to office.
Bloc implies a combination of persons or groups who otherwise differ in party or in interests for the sake of achieving a common and often temporary end; thus, in France and in Italy, a bloc is a combination of members of two or more political parties; in the United States, a bloc is a combination not of parties but of members of different parties who have a common end.
Faction frequently suggests a smaller body than party and commonly implies selfish ends and the use of unscrupulous or turbulent means.
Ring is applicable to an exclusive, often more or less secret, combination for a selfish and often corrupt or criminal purpose (as the control of a market, of political patronage, or of distribution of narcotics).