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 There may not be a standard outfield alignment with this group., "The latest projection on the Red Sox roster for Opening Day," 20 Mar. 2021 For client-agency relationships to succeed, all parties must be in alignment. Jonathan Schwartz, Forbes, "Transparency Reigns Supreme In Successful Client-Agency Relationships," 19 Mar. 2021 The District should continue to work to streamline its goals around equity, so that there is alignment between the district’s strategic plan, annual superintendent goals, other equity focused goals and each building’s school improvement plan. Steve Schering,, "Q&A: Oak Park District 97 school board candidates discuss issues ahead of April 6 election," 16 Mar. 2021 Both environmentalists and fossil fuel backers support the legislation, a rare alignment in today’s divided political landscape. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "New generation of carbon dioxide traps could make carbon capture practical," 24 Mar. 2021 And the 49ers believe Ebukam, who possesses All-Pro physical gifts, could become a force under the tutelage of defensive line coach Kris Kocurek in a Wide 9 alignment that could take full advantage of his burst and speed. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, "What did the 49ers see in Samson Ebukam? It's more about what they didn't observe," 21 Mar. 2021 Here’s an example: On this play, Basham (No. 93) is aligned in a two-point stance with a wide alignment outside Browns offensive tackle Kendall Lamm (No. 70). John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: How Tarell Basham fits with the Cowboys, and a change he can make to improve his game," 19 Mar. 2021 Yet, when the mindset of partner and problem solver replaces a tacit order-taker mentality, there is room for alignment and synergy to drive a great work environment for everyone involved. Marita Decker, Forbes, "Managing Up: Five Ways To Connect With Your Boss And Advocate For Your Team," 19 Mar. 2021 Raising your head too high with pillows when sleeping on your front throws out spinal alignment and can cause neck stiffness and pain. Lauren Corona,, "How to choose a pillow," 19 Mar. 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of alignment was in 1742

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Statistics for alignment

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alignment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for alignment



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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