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

No one with a shot of winning advocates shifting allegiance back to Russia from the EU. Washington Post, "Legacy of Ukraine Revolution Rides on March Election: QuickTake," 18 Sep. 2019 Other local businesses that have shown allegiance toward either side have drawn the ire of customers. Amy Gunia / Hong Kong, Time, "In Hong Kong, Employees Hide Their Political Leanings as Beijing Forces Companies to Take Sides," 16 Sep. 2019 Wouldn’t a better solution include moving away from allegiance to shareholders and instead focusing on the actual needs of the patients? Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Consider all the costs of separating babies from their incarcerated mothers," 15 Sep. 2019 Plunkett speculates a future in which such data collection, used to forecast our tastes or allegiances, could begin at conception. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "Instagram, Facebook, and the Perils of “Sharenting”," 11 Sep. 2019 Tommy Shelby might be doing his level best not to let slip who his favourite football team really is, but actor Cillian Murphy is supposedly among a host of famous faces whose allegiances lie with Celtic., "Peaky Blinders: Which Football Teams Cillian Murphy & Rest of the Cast Support," 8 Sep. 2019 In addition, co-host Dagen McDowell said a red hat ban would extend beyond sports allegiances. Fox News, "Jesse Watters: 'Liberals are so soft' to complain about being made 'uncomfortable' by red baseball caps," 7 Sep. 2019 If anything, his film reveals how all the infighting among Europe’s member states is not unlike your typical schoolyard quarrel, with everyone shifting allegiances to save their country's skin or simply to save face. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Adults in the Room': Film Review | Venice 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 But the Wilsons’ relationship to the Tethered — an oppressed class of people taking down their more fortunate doubles — complicates the audience’s allegiance. Lena Wilson, New York Times, "I Know Where You Lived Last Summer," 29 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for allegiance

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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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Comments on allegiance

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