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

This is a neat alignment, because the moon is approximately 240,000 miles away from Earth, while Venus is about 400 times as far away. Temi Adebowale, Popular Mechanics, "These Pictures of Venus and the Moon Together Are Stunning," 17 July 2018 Montgomery, who has a 1.21 ERA in five starts, was part of that alignment. Mark Gonzales,, "Mike Montgomery's performance raises possibility of six-man rotation for Cubs," 20 June 2018 The Sadrist-leftist alliance was not a natural alignment of two groups primed for cooperation. Benedict Robin, Washington Post, "Why everyone failed to predict the leftist-Islamist alliance that won Iraq’s 2018 elections," 7 June 2018 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke on Monday outlined a plan to cut pollution and battle climate change, seeking alignment with the goals of the Green New Deal in his first major policy proposal. Ken Thomas, WSJ, "Beto O’Rourke Aligns Himself With Green New Deal in First Major Policy Proposal," 29 Apr. 2019 Finding alignment My spine may never be straight and my scoliosis will never be cured. Lauren Depino, Glamour, "My Scoliosis Caused Me Pain and Shame—Then It Helped Me Learn to Find Alignment," 10 Apr. 2019 Lunar eclipses occur when the moon is full and in alignment with both the Earth and sun. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "How a Total Lunar Eclipse Works," 18 Jan. 2019 That is unusual because any ETF may be exchanged at any time for a basket of its component securities, a mechanism that aims to keep market values in alignment. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Wild Markets Pinch Trading, Vexing Investors," 7 Dec. 2018 Eclipses are powerful phenonmea that occur when the celestial bodies meet in perfect alignment. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's August 2018 Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 30 July 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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Statistics for alignment

Last Updated

23 May 2019

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Time Traveler for alignment

The first known use of alignment was in 1742

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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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Comments on alignment

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