noun al·le·giance \ ə-ˈlē-jən(t)s \
|Updated on: 19 Jul 2018

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


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


Definition of allegiance for English Language Learners

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

ALLEGIANCE Defined for Kids


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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to beat or defeat soundly

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