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 As a result, the ISS needs to be reboosted at regular intervals, and its heading and alignment need to be adjusted constantly. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 May 2022 This isn't a one-and-done process, so the CISO needs to maintain a direct line of communication with the CEO and other executives to ensure continuous alignment. Andrew Hollister, Forbes, 6 May 2022 When your glutes can't do their job, other muscles in your body have to work harder, which ultimately can overwork them, leading to poor body alignment and aches. SELF, 27 Jan. 2022 The Ross administration will immediately begin formulating a timeline, divisional alignment and scheduling details with other SWBL member schools. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, 26 Jan. 2022 In total, the alignment and phasing processes will take about three months. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 25 Jan. 2022 Now, the $10 billion successor to the Hubble telescope has five months of alignment and calibration procedures before it is expected to start sending images back to Earth, the space agency said. Editors, USA TODAY, 9 Jan. 2022 Before the pandemic, a study by his company and Forrester found that IT teams often work in silos, straining organizational alignment. Andrew Ellenberg, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 So, get your binoculars and telescopes ready, and watch the NASA video above to track when and where this month’s alignment will appear. J.d. Simkins, Sunset Magazine, 21 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of alignment

1742, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for alignment

Time Traveler

The first known use of alignment was in 1742

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alignment chart

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Alignment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for alignment


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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