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 The real fun starts with the second alignment when supporters of less-popular candidates are encouraged to join up with groups of caucusgoers who backed a better-liked contender. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "What you need to know about the Nevada Democratic caucuses," 19 Feb. 2020 Many recent Hollywood accounting lawsuits — and even the WGA's ongoing battle with talent agencies over their ownership stakes in content — speak to discomfort with the close alignment of the industry's power brokers. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Trump's Enforcer: Meet the Man Who Holds Hollywood and Silicon Valley's Future in His Hands," 12 Feb. 2020 But there is still a lot of uncertainty about the final outcome, since Iowa caucus-goers can change their support if their candidate fails to attract 15% support in the first alignment. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Will Iowa caucuses predict the Democratic nominee? In 7 of the past 9 contested Democratic races, it did.," 3 Feb. 2020 Among the Giants’ plans with the new bullpen alignment: • The bullpens will be located on either side of the garden, just below the left-field and center-field bleachers. John Shea,, "Giants announce details of outfield dimensions, bullpen relocations," 12 Dec. 2019 At first glance, the assumption with this alignment is Michigan would be predisposed to throw the ball. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's offense still has Jim Harbaugh's fingerprints all over it," 1 Nov. 2019 The concept includes keeping Britain within the bloc’s customs union and single market for goods—though not services—with full alignment between U.K. and EU rules and standards for up to five years. Valentina Pop, WSJ, "As Brexit Clock Ticks, the U.K. Tries to Agree on a Plan," 24 May 2018 Dozier offers similar flexibility, though the Royals will experiment with alignments this spring. Rustin Dodd, kansascity, "KC Royals wait on Eric Hosmer, plan competition at first base | The Kansas City Star," 14 Feb. 2018 The new districts for other sports are scheduled to be announced by March 16, with academic alignments to follow. Margot Habiby, Dallas News, "Richardson ISD teams will compete against Irving schools, Jesuit in latest UIL realignment," 10 Feb. 2020

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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The first known use of alignment was in 1742

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Last Updated

28 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Alignment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for alignment


How to pronounce alignment (audio)

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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