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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from allegiance

allegiant \ ə-​ˈlē-​jənt How to pronounce allegiance (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 The Pulse gunman, who authorities said had pledged allegiance to ISIS, died in a shootout with police the day of the massacre. Ray Sanchez, CNN, 12 June 2021 Sangaji said those arrested are suspected of being members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and carried out multiple suicide bombings in Indonesia. Washington Post, 31 May 2021 Public demonstrations of allegiance, taste and status now have other outlets. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, 16 Mar. 2021 Due to their allegiance to older console limitations, THPS1+2's courses start to feel a bit claustrophobic after a few hours of play. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 4 Sep. 2020 The second was the stuff of dreams or nightmares, depending on one’s allegiance. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2021 Cassidy said Biden’s plan spent too much money on education, blaming schools not being open on Democratic allegiance to teachers’ unions. Author: Erica Werner, Jeff Stein, Anchorage Daily News, 31 Jan. 2021 With Hello Alice’s allegiance being to the new majority - people of color, women, immigrants, anyone identifying as LGBTQ+, veterans, and people with disabilities - their mission remains deeply rooted in providing access. Pauleanna Reid, Forbes, 21 May 2021 The analyst is appointed by the Legislature, but his allegiance is to facts and truth. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About allegiance

Time Traveler for allegiance

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for allegiance

Last Updated

19 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Allegiance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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.


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!