allegiance

noun
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

The cross on hers is also meant to show her allegiance to the Church of England and, by extension, Queen Elizabeth, Express reports. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Why Meghan Markle and Camilla Parker Bowles Have Almost Identical Cross Bracelets," 18 July 2018 Team 10, a clique of YouTubers who have pledged their allegiance (and an undisclosed portion of their income) to Paul in return for guest spots in his videos and housing in the Team 10 mansion. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "YouTube Star Jake Paul’s Fame Is Fading," 16 June 2018 The status is banned under Australian consitutional law to prevent split allegiances. Rebecca Maitland, Houston Chronicle, "Realtor of the Week: Jacqui Kneese," 29 Apr. 2018 That one letter returned from the Indians has gone a long way into Jasper's allegiances. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Indians gain 10-year-old fan in Iowa," 17 Apr. 2018 Not all of those farmers are claiming allegiance to narco-trafficking clans back in Mexico. Johnny Magdaleno, Newsweek, "Mexican Drug Cartels May Use Legal Marijuana to Increase Their Presence in Northern California," 10 Jan. 2018 At that point the beetles switch allegiances and hop onto the female. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Gangs of beetle larvae lure fathers of their next meal into sex trap," 12 Sep. 2018 Academics are even more predictable in their allegiances. The Economist, "The L wordWho is a Democrat?," 12 July 2018 Amy, Gretchen, Lisa, Paul and the tragic Tiffany are his royal siblings, ever shifting in their allegiances and presence in one another’s lives. Alan Cumming, New York Times, "David Sedaris Has a New Essay Collection. It Changed Alan Cumming’s Whole Worldview.," 25 May 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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Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

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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

allegiance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of allegiance

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

allegiance

noun
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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