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 Despite Wisconsin's allegiance to the Union during the Civil War, its loyalties to the Union and the end of slavery were not as clear-cut as Wisconsinites might like to think — and symbols of the Southern Confederacy still survive here. Samantha Hendrickson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin still has Confederate monuments and symbols despite its history as a progressive state. Here's what they are.," 28 June 2020 Borglum joined the Klan to raise money for the Confederate memorial, and Griffith argues his allegiance was more practical than ideological. CBS News, ""Faces of the conquerors": Trump trip to Rushmore draws fire," 25 June 2020 Borglum joined the Klan to raise money for the Confederate memorial, and Griffith argues his allegiance was more practical than ideological. Stephen Groves, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump trip to Mount Rushmore draws fire from Native American activists," 25 June 2020 George Green,Former City Councilman district I, joins the crowd in saying the pledge of allegiance. Elaine Ayala,, "Ayala: San Antonio marches, coursework make Juneteenth more meaningful this year," 20 June 2020 Because of the pandemic, there's a backlog of more than 1,000 immigrants waiting to take their oaths of allegiance, so officials came up with a system modeled after the coronavirus testing drive-thrus. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Citizenship by drive-thru? Immigrants now take oath without leaving car," 18 June 2020 Before the pandemic, about 63,000 applicants took the oath of allegiance each month in small-town courthouses and convention centers around the country. Miriam Jordan,, "Pandemic delays US citizenship for thousands," 17 June 2020 And the trauma from the war manifests in many ways, including constant nightmares, panic attacks, and even a misguided allegiance to President Trump's MAGA campaign. Ineye Komonibo,, "Spike Lee Highlights The Real Trauma Of Black Veterans In Da 5 Bloods," 15 June 2020 In recent years factions of the group have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, including one that identifies itself as the Islamic State West Africa Province. Michael Olukayode,, "Boko Haram Militants Kill at Least 50 in Northeast Nigeria," 15 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for allegiance

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for allegiance

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Allegiance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for allegiance


How to pronounce allegiance (audio)

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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