align·​ment | \ ə-ˈlīn-mənt How to pronounce alignment (audio) \
variants: or less commonly alinement

Definition of alignment

1 : the act of aligning or state of being aligned especially : the proper positioning or state of adjustment of parts (as of a mechanical or electronic device) in relation to each other
2a : a forming in line
b : the line thus formed
3 : the ground plan (as of a railroad or highway) in distinction from the profile
4 : an arrangement of groups or forces in relation to one another new alignments within the political party

Examples of alignment in a Sentence

The school has to bring its programs into alignment with state requirements. New alignments have been created within the political party.

Recent Examples on the Web

Although this planetary connection is somewhat rare, as these outer planets won’t meet again until 2022, this is actually the third — and final — alignment of 2018’s three-part series. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What September's Aries Horoscope Means for You," 30 Aug. 2018 Just as the cameras on our phones know to focus on a human face by recognizing the alignment of eyes, nose, and mouth, Tuttle’s team taught computers to recognize long, narrow structures arranged in rows. Emily Strasser, Curbed, "A secret city opens up," 8 Aug. 2018 Magnetic minerals in sediment align with Earth's poles, and when those sediments harden into rock layers, the alignment of those magnetic minerals gets locked into place, creating a fossil record of Earth's past magnetism. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Hominins lived in China 2.1 million years ago," 11 July 2018 With one party controlling both houses, sources are predicting general alignment between the resolutions. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "New York Senate, Assembly to Lay Out Their Visions for State Budget," 10 Mar. 2019 All of the layers come together to help with spinal alignment, according to the company, and the wool cover helps regulate your body temperature throughout the night. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About The Casper Wave Mattress," 11 Feb. 2019 Some makes and models offer just vertical or horizontal bubble levels while most others provide no visible alignment indicator at all. Anthony Alaniz, Popular Mechanics, "How to Adjust Your Headlights," 27 Sep. 2018 But this grand alignment of the aggrieved has been moving from the realm of the hypothetical... Graham T. Allison And, WSJ, "A Sino-Russian Entente Again Threatens America," 29 Jan. 2019 The best bet to countering this defensive alignment — hitting a groundball to the opposite side of the field — is great in theory, but difficult to put into motion. Neil Greenberg,, "Analytics killed the bunt. Now a new data-driven strategy could bring it back to life.," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alignment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alignment

1742, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for alignment

Last Updated

28 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for alignment

The first known use of alignment was in 1742

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English Language Learners Definition of alignment

: the state of being arranged in a line or in proper position
: the state or condition of agreeing with or matching something else
: the state of being joined with others in supporting or opposing something


align·​ment | \ ə-ˈlīn-mənt How to pronounce alignment (audio) \

Kids Definition of alignment

: the state of being arranged in a line or in proper position The machine was not working properly because its parts were out of alignment.

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Comments on alignment

What made you want to look up alignment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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