align·ment | \ə-ˈlīn-mənt \
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

Under Bill Belichick, the Patriots were agile enough to change alignments week to week. Carlos Monarrez, USA TODAY, "Lions training camp questions: Can Matt Patricia bring Patriots touch to Detroit?," 18 June 2018 Kapler said the team will seek more input from pitchers about various defensive alignments. Scott Lauber,, "Infield coach explains why Phillies are confident in run-prevention strategy | Scott Lauber," 8 June 2018 But Libra’s rep for harmonious ballroom interludes belies the hard work of reality checking our concepts of justice and alignment. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes July 16-22," 13 July 2018 The final alignment and a financing plan have yet to be finalized. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "I-80 improvements deemed 'critical' in regional transportation plan," 3 July 2018 Living on the edge of safety and certainty all the time pushed me to seek to understand my connection to the universe and alignment with my truth. Jeremiah M. Bogert Jr,, "How Liz Clark turned her South Pacific sailing trip into a memoir and visual voyage," 5 June 2018 The Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control on Wednesday approved the final alignment for the 2019-22 football seasons, with just a few changes from the original draft that was released in February. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "KHSAA finalizes football alignment for 2019-22 seasons," 9 May 2018 Two of the white dwarfs, for example, only appeared to move across the plane of the sky, with no motion whatsoever toward or away from us—a curious alignment with Gaia’s line of sight that most celestial objects would be unlikely to possess. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "The Milky Way's Speediest Stars Could Solve a 50-Year-Old Mystery," 9 May 2018 The dealer also adjusted the front-wheel alignment and inspected the steering column, which produces an intermittent groaning sound when the driver twirls the wheel. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, "2016 Nissan Titan XD Diesel," 15 Feb. 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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Phrases Related to alignment

in alignment

out of alignment

Statistics for alignment

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alignment

The first known use of alignment was in 1742

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More Definitions for alignment


align·ment | \ə-ˈlīn-mənt \

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

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a state of commotion or excitement

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