al·​le·​giance | \ ə-ˈlē-jən(t)s How to pronounce allegiance (audio) \

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 \ ə-​ˈlē-​jənt How to pronounce allegiant (audio) \ 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 Flynn's apparent endorsement - his move to swear his allegiance to QAnon - was decisive for some who had once only flirted with the theory. Anchorage Daily News, "How the Trump campaign came to court QAnon, the online conspiracy movement identified by the FBI as a violent threat," 2 Aug. 2020 Just a day before the election's postponement, Hong Kong also disqualified at least 12 pro-democracy nominees running for office after the government said the candidates failed to pledge allegiance to both Hong Kong and Beijing. Fox News, "Hong Kong postpones legislative elections over coronavirus fears," 1 Aug. 2020 It was announced on Thursday that the 12 candidates would be disqualified from participating in the September elections because of their unwillingness to pledge allegiance to Hong Kong's laws. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Joshua Wong and 11 other activists banned from Hong Kong elections," 30 July 2020 The sessions begin with a heartfelt pledge of allegiance to the flag, for which all stand and place their right hand over their heart. Jim Shultz, The New York Review of Books, "One Small Vote for Lockport, NY, One Giant Lesson for 2020 America," 7 July 2020 Acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli administered the oath of allegiance to Shinwari and his wife on Monday in Fairfax, Virginia. Gabriel Kinder And Laura Klairmont, CNN, "Afghan translator who saved US lives and helped fellow translators escape danger becomes a US citizen," 4 July 2020 Hong Kong public university presidents are required to pledge allegiance to the national security law, Professor Chan says, and some scholars fear self-censorship in classrooms and research will soon follow. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Hong Kongers fear drastic law marks ‘before’ and ‘after’," 1 July 2020 For at least the past dozen years, the public has been pressed to choose between obedience to a smug, privilege-hoarding neoliberal elite or allegiance to a belligerent ideology rooted in negation, self-pity, resentment and revenge. New York Times, "A Summer Without Superheroes," 1 July 2020 Vera makes a decision about Jack's allegiance for him, ordering his love interest Alyssa Drake (Sarah Grey) to wipe his memories with magical powder. Ariana Romero,, "These Are The 5 Twists You Need To Remember Before The Order Season 2," 18 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for allegiance

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for allegiance

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Allegiance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for allegiance


How to pronounce allegiance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of allegiance

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


al·​le·​giance | \ ə-ˈlē-jəns How to pronounce allegiance (audio) \

Kids Definition of allegiance

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

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