allegiance

noun al·le·giance \ ə-ˈlē-jən(t)s \
Updated on: 11 Dec 2017

Definition of allegiance

1 a : 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

allegiant

play \-jənt\ adjective

Examples of allegiance in a Sentence

  1. He owes allegiance to them for all the help they have given him.

  2. Both candidates are working hard to convince voters to switch allegiances.

Recent Examples of allegiance from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of allegiance

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

Synonym Discussion of 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


ALLEGIANCE Defined for English Language Learners

allegiance

noun

Definition of allegiance for English Language Learners

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


ALLEGIANCE Defined for Kids

allegiance

noun al·le·giance \ ə-ˈlē-jəns \

Definition of allegiance for Students

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


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