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

With one party controlling both houses, sources are predicting general alignment between the resolutions. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "New York Senate, Assembly to Lay Out Their Visions for State Budget," 10 Mar. 2019 All of the layers come together to help with spinal alignment, according to the company, and the wool cover helps regulate your body temperature throughout the night. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About The Casper Wave Mattress," 11 Feb. 2019 Some makes and models offer just vertical or horizontal bubble levels while most others provide no visible alignment indicator at all. Anthony Alaniz, Popular Mechanics, "How to Adjust Your Headlights," 27 Sep. 2018 But this grand alignment of the aggrieved has been moving from the realm of the hypothetical... Graham T. Allison And, WSJ, "A Sino-Russian Entente Again Threatens America," 29 Jan. 2019 The best bet to countering this defensive alignment — hitting a groundball to the opposite side of the field — is great in theory, but difficult to put into motion. Neil Greenberg,, "Analytics killed the bunt. Now a new data-driven strategy could bring it back to life.," 10 July 2018 However, these factors do not explain why this alignment did not appear until 2015, or why nobody had predicted its emergence. Benedict Robin, Washington Post, "Why everyone failed to predict the leftist-Islamist alliance that won Iraq’s 2018 elections," 7 June 2018 Plus, on this alignment here, there was a lot of space in the A-gap. Andy Benoit,, "The Secrets of a Linebacker," 16 May 2018 With that alignment, Becton would play strong side tackle outside of McNeil at guard, with sophomore Cole Bentley sliding over to center, Kenny Thomas at the other guard position and Foy at tackle. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "With the spring game coming up, Louisville's offensive line starts to take shape," 9 Apr. 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

14 Mar 2019

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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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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

Comments on alignment

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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