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 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 Several candidates in that race are bragging about their allegiance to Trump, while one Republican is notably trying to make a stand for the party's anti-Trump wing. Rick Klein, Averi Harper, ABC News, "Republicans face identity crises from within own ranks: The Note," 27 Apr. 2021 Barkley has always been a lightning rod when comes to his SEC allegiance. Mark Heim |, al, "Charles Barkley on SEC rival: ‘Georgia the only school that they named their mascot after the women’," 26 Apr. 2021 Several Republicans have already entered the fray, emphasizing their conservative bona fides and trying to prove their allegiance to former President Donald Trump. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, "Ohio's U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan launches bid for U.S. Senate; first Democrat in the race," 26 Apr. 2021 But in another sign that opinions about the country's condition are substantially shaped by party allegiance, the views of Democrats and Republicans have flipped with the change in administrations., "Americans give Biden mostly positive marks for first 100 days, Post-ABC poll finds," 25 Apr. 2021 But the debacle seemed to wind down on Monday evening when Jordan's royal court released a document signed by Hamzah pledging allegiance to the king. CNN, "Jordan's king breaks silence after royal drama grips the country," 7 Apr. 2021 The Covid-19 vaccines that are saving our lives and livelihoods, on the other hand, are the product of innovative thinking, with allegiance only to facts and science. Joan Michelson, Forbes, "Texas Proved Groupthink Can Kill People. The Covid Vaccine Proves Diversity Saves People.," 27 Feb. 2021 Yet the strategy reflects prevailing GOP wisdom in the Trump era: Republicans' clearest path to victory, even in swing states, is to drive up support among a GOP base motivated by allegiance to the president and fear of Democrats. Arkansas Online, "Loeffler, Perdue run hard-line pitch in swing state Georgia," 1 Jan. 2021 Those who follow college football objectively, which is to say without an allegiance to a particular school, have had a pretty good idea who the four teams most deserving of playoff selection are for some time. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "College Football Playoff impact games for Week 16," 18 Dec. 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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Allegiance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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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