noun al·le·giance \ə-ˈlē-jən(t)s\

: loyalty to a person, country, group, etc.

Full Definition of ALLEGIANCE

a :  the obligation of a feudal vassal to his liege lord
b (1) :  the fidelity owed by a subject or citizen to a sovereign or government
(2) :  the obligation of an alien to the government under which the alien resides
:  devotion or loyalty to a person, group, or cause
al·le·giant \-jənt\ adjective

Examples of ALLEGIANCE

  1. He owes allegiance to them for all the help they have given him.
  2. Both candidates are working hard to convince voters to switch allegiances.


Middle English aligeaunce, from Anglo-French allegeance, alteration of ligeance, from lige liege
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of ALLEGIANCE

fidelity, allegiance, fealty, loyalty, devotion, piety mean faithfulness to something to which one is bound by pledge or duty. fidelity implies strict and continuing faithfulness to an obligation, trust, or duty <marital fidelity>. allegiance suggests an adherence like that of citizens to their country <pledging allegiance>. fealty implies a fidelity acknowledged by the individual and as compelling as a sworn vow <fealty to the truth>. loyalty implies a faithfulness that is steadfast in the face of any temptation to renounce, desert, or betray <valued the loyalty of his friends>. devotion stresses zeal and service amounting to self-dedication <a painter's devotion to her art>. piety stresses fidelity to obligations regarded as natural and fundamental <filial piety>.

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism
ALLEGIANT Defined for Kids


noun al·le·giance \ə-ˈlē-jəns\

Definition of ALLEGIANCE for Kids

:  loyalty and service to a group, country, or idea <I pledge allegiance to my country.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: allegoresisPrevious Word in the Dictionary: Allegheny vineAll Words Near: allegiance
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears