al·le·giance | \ ə-ˈlē-jən(t)s \

Definition of allegiance 

1a : the obligation of a feudal vassal to his liege lord

b(1) : the fidelity owed by a subject or citizen to a sovereign or government I pledge allegiance to my country.

(2) : the obligation of an alien to the government under which the alien resides

2 : devotion or loyalty to a person, group, or cause allegiance to a political party

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Other words from allegiance

allegiant \-jənt \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for allegiance

fidelity, allegiance, fealty, loyalty, devotion, piety mean faithfulness to something to which one is bound by pledge or duty. fidelity implies strict and continuing faithfulness to an obligation, trust, or duty. marital fidelity allegiance suggests an adherence like that of citizens to their country. pledging allegiance fealty implies a fidelity acknowledged by the individual and as compelling as a sworn vow. fealty to the truth loyalty implies a faithfulness that is steadfast in the face of any temptation to renounce, desert, or betray. valued the loyalty of his friends devotion stresses zeal and service amounting to self-dedication. a painter's devotion to her art piety stresses fidelity to obligations regarded as natural and fundamental. filial piety

Examples of allegiance in a Sentence

He owes allegiance to them for all the help they have given him. Both candidates are working hard to convince voters to switch allegiances.

Recent Examples on the Web

For those of us who make a habit of investing our allegiance in underdogs, then, the World Cup often reads like an interminable, run-on sentence of tragedy, loosely punctuated with eruptions of joy. Kanishk Tharoor, The Atlantic, "The Elusive Underdog Magic of the World Cup," 14 July 2018 Everything else, from your other political allegiances to your proposals for a post-occupation status quo, is secondary. Abraham Riesman, Daily Intelligencer, "Can the young activists of IfNotNow change the conversation about Israel and the Palestinians, or will their contradictions hold them back?," 12 July 2018 The city is 95 percent Hispanic, the largest percentage of any large metro area in the country, and fans are often torn over their allegiance to the country of their birth and the country of their heritage. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "In border town, World Cup watchers balance team pride, anxiety about US," 29 June 2018 Well, perhaps the fan waited until the seventh inning to make sure that their sports allegiances wouldn't have a negative effect on their relationship. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "While Royals' Lucas Duda was batting Monday, a proposal took place behind him," 26 June 2018 In Swiss uniforms, while celebrating with the Albanian eagle, the two players embody immigrant identity and self-expression — with all its hybridity, historical references and mishmash of allegiances. Ani Kokobobo, Washington Post, "For Albanians, it’s not just an eagle. Here’s the deeper story those World Cup fines.," 2 July 2018 Her allegiances appear to be with Lee, not the Democratic Party. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Is this fringe Democrat going to spoil a hotly contested California race for Democrats?," 6 June 2018 Like mother, like daughter! Kim Kardashian West and Kris Jenner showed their allegiance and love to dear friends and family members in both Wyoming and California on Thursday. Natalie Stone,, "Kris Jenner and Corey Gamble Go Out in L.A. as Kim Kardashian Supports Kanye West in Wyoming," 1 June 2018 Throughout the film, artistic commitments undermine what should, in the eyes of many, be a mother’s primary allegiance. Katherine Fusco, The Atlantic, "Hereditary and the Monstrousness of Creative Moms," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'allegiance.' 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 allegiance

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for allegiance

Middle English aligeaunce, from Anglo-French allegeance, alteration of ligeance, from lige liege

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Phrases Related to allegiance

the Pledge of Allegiance

Statistics for allegiance

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for allegiance

The first known use of allegiance was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for allegiance



English Language Learners Definition of allegiance

: loyalty to a person, country, group, etc.


al·le·giance | \ ə-ˈlē-jəns \

Kids Definition of allegiance

: loyalty and service to a group, country, or idea I pledge allegiance to my country.

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Comments on allegiance

What made you want to look up allegiance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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