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 But that would have required the near-perfect alignment of competing variables. Damon Linker, TheWeek, "It's over for Bernie Sanders," 18 Mar. 2020 For the first time, there would be not just one measure recorded but three: the initial alignment of caucusgoers, the realignment of those who were with candidates below 15 percent support, and then the final delegates won at each site. Shane Goldmacher, New York Times, "‘A Systemwide Disaster’: How the Iowa Caucuses Melted Down," 11 Mar. 2020 Young, though, has another thing going for his alignment-of-stars theme. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Chase Young is the perfect NFL draft pick for hometown Washington Redskins," 28 Feb. 2020 Lifting fish using grippers without support increased the severity of mouth injury and altered the alignment of vertebrae, which did not return to normal for three weeks. Popular Science, "Releasing a caught fish isn’t as simple as tossing it overboard," 11 Feb. 2020 That is a beauty of the zone-run scheme: The offense imposes its will on the defense, dictating the terms of engagement, rather than reacting to the moves and alignment of the defense. John Hirschauer, National Review, "Kyle Shanahan’s Revolution," 2 Feb. 2020 These projects, expressing the firm’s commitment to democratizing public spaces, anticipated the challenges of reinventing MOMA, which, for ninety years, has stood as a monument to the paradoxical alignment of capital and counterculture. Jordan Orlando, The New Yorker, "The Once and Future MOMA," 26 Jan. 2020 Women have wider hips than men, which can affect the alignment of the knee and leave women more prone to knees that move inward (knock-kneed), according to Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "Why are torn ACLs happening so frequently to Dallas-area girls basketball players? A look at an epidemic with no easy answers," 18 Jan. 2020 Even Thursday on the hotel shuttle over from the airport, conversation centered more on what Disney attractions to get to than how the Irish might attack the tricky 3-3-5 defensive alignment of Iowa State. Tom Noie, Indianapolis Star, "Noie: Buzz about and around No. 14 Notre Dame absent from Camping World Bowl," 27 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for alignment

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The first known use of alignment was in 1742

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Statistics for alignment

Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Alignment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 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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