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 \ -​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

This woman character, hailing from an unnamed Middle Eastern country, was introduced to a select group of journalists earlier this month at Infinity Ward's Los Angeles-area headquarters, and her military allegiance was left unclear. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," 30 May 2019 Acquiring allegiance from flagship independent resorts was a coup for Alterra, which succeeded where Vail, which in the past has tried to lure some of the Ikon Pass resorts to its own Epic Pass, had failed. Christopher Steiner, USA TODAY, "Alterra’s Ikon Pass gives skiers a real rival to Vail’s Epic Pass," 26 Jan. 2018 IndyStar Pacers Insider Cliff Brown and sports reporter Jim Ayello discuss Oladipo's all-star selection, keeping Sabonis in the starting lineup for the long haul, Indiana's options at the trade deadline and Al Jefferson's allegiance to the Patriots. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Pacers at NBA trade deadline: Buy, sell or stand pat?," 5 Feb. 2018 The military was predominately responsible for overthrowing dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez in 1958 and under the constitution holds no allegiance to any political party or ideology. Fabiola Sanchez, The Seattle Times, "AP Explains: Venezuela opposition’s fight to win over troops," 20 Feb. 2019 And the military is avoiding strikes on poppy farmers who may have no firm allegiance to the Taliban. Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ, "Months of U.S. Strikes Have Failed to Curtail Taliban Opium Trade," 8 Aug. 2018 The ultimate allegiance of the press is to our fellow citizens. Lauren Duca, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Has Been Lying to the American Public, and Journalists Need to Call Him Out," 1 June 2018 Gerrard’s comments were bold, and of course in favor of the star man of the club to which his allegiance is still very strong, but may be deemed reasonable considering Salah’s consistent run of unstoppable form this season., "Steven Gerrard on Mohamed Salah: He's 'the Best Player on the Planet Right Now"," 25 Apr. 2018 After the New York Yankees, my most embarrassing fair-weather allegiance is to LeBron James. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "In Praise of Fair-Weather Fandom," 16 Apr. 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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Statistics for allegiance

Last Updated

21 Jun 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

What made you want to look up allegiance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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