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

That creates an opening for powerful special interests to influence campaigns in alignment with backwards facing policies, like climate change denial and restricting women’s rights. Marie Claire, "Why Your Vote Is More Important This Year Than Ever Before," 16 Oct. 2018 The appellate decision brings the U.K. in alignment with U.S.-accepted principles of attorney-client privilege. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "U.K. Appeals Court Reverses Ruling Narrowing Attorney-Client Privilege," 6 Sep. 2018 This cosmic alignment has been major for you, Libra, activating the areas of your chart associated with finances and stability. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What September's Libra Horoscope Means for You," 30 Aug. 2018 Her efforts worked—Trump commuted Johnson's sentence—but that hasn't stopped people from calling out his other policies and the West family's alignment with the administration. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Kim Kardashian Faces Backlash After Claiming She Has 'Nothing Bad to Say' About Donald Trump," 31 July 2018 Any car will wear its tires in different ways just because of the peculiarities of that particular car's suspension or alignment. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "How to Rotate Your Tires," 13 Dec. 2018 In a sign of this new alignment in Washington, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer last week warned President Trump that Democrats would demand policies to address climate change in any legislation to improve the nation’s infrastructure. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Climate Change Emerging From the Political Shadows," 10 Dec. 2018 The company’s survival in wartime depends upon strict adherence and alignment to the mission. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Mark Zuckerberg became a wartime CEO," 20 Nov. 2018 Intel chips can generate alignment exceptions when attempts are made to access memory addresses that aren't whole multiples of 16, 32, or 64; these, too, don't permit Meltdown attacks. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Spectre, Meltdown researchers unveil 7 more speculative execution attacks," 14 Nov. 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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Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on alignment

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alignment

Spanish Central: Translation of alignment

Nglish: Translation of alignment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alignment for Arabic Speakers

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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