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

When a chaotic regime shift descended on the country, however, my father’s political allegiances eventually led to our exile. Rawiya Kameir, Vogue, "Does Citizenship Shape Identity? A “Third-Culture” Writer Takes Stock," 19 Oct. 2018 Neighbors will not easily forget her husband’s allegiance to ISIS; nor will the government. Sophia Jones, Marie Claire, "The Truth About The Wives of ISIS," 4 Oct. 2018 The men in the video, however, did not pledge allegiance or otherwise identify themselves as IS followers. Nasser Karimi, Fox News, "Iran video threatens missile strikes on UAE, Saudi Arabia," 25 Sep. 2018 That allegiance and fidelity to hip-hop’s most well-known artists, and to the art itself, is what makes Chang an integral part of hip-hop’s story, Morgan says. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Sophia Chang Ain’t Nothing to Fuck Wit’," 25 June 2018 The creation of a Space Force as a co-equal service branch, as Trump proposed, necessitates juggling and combining these various agencies, which would likely lead to confusion and rivalry due to differing organizational cultures and allegiances. Bryan Nakayama, Fortune, "3 Reasons Trump’s New Space Force Would Be a Disaster," 21 June 2018 The onetime insurgent has made allegiance to his leadership a litmus test in many Republican races. John Whitesides, The Christian Science Monitor, "Pro-Trump challenger topples Rep. Mark Sanford in South Carolina primary," 13 June 2018 So when the Astros picked Deason in the fifth round of the MLB Draft, allegiances were questioned after Houston beat Los Angeles for the title. Charlotte Carroll,, "Dodgers Fan Drafted by Astros Now Embraces 2017 World Series," 5 June 2018 But now the country is in a rare position of strength as China and Taiwan engage in a global tug-of-war over diplomatic allegiances. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "As Taiwan loses another ally to China, Haiti's president heads to Taipei to negotiate | Miami Herald," 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

6 Dec 2018

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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



English Language Learners Definition of allegiance

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


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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Comments on allegiance

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a nest or breeding place

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