al·​li·​ance | \ə-ˈlī-ən(t)s \

Definition of alliance 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the state of being allied : the action of allying nations in close alliance

b : a bond or connection between families, states, parties, or individuals a closer alliance between government and industry

2 : an association to further the common interests of the members specifically : a confederation of nations by treaty the alliance of Western nations

3 : union by relationship in qualities : affinity an alliance of industry and academia

4 : a treaty of alliance


geographical name
Al·​li·​ance | \ə-ˈlī-ən(t)s \

Definition of Alliance (Entry 2 of 2)

city in northeastern Ohio northeast of Canton population 22,322

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of alliance in a Sentence


We need to form a closer alliance between government and industry. strengthen the alliance of western nations There has been a pattern of shifting alliances in the political world. The article condemns what some say is an unholy alliance between government and media. one nation working in alliance with another There is disagreement within the alliance about how to deal with this problem.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Germany, with the second-biggest economy in the alliance, spends 1.24% of its GDP on its armed forces. David S. Cloud,, "Here's what you need to know about Trump's complaints to NATO allies about defense spending," 11 July 2018 Over the border in Austria, Sebastian Kurz, who was 19 when Merkel came to power in 2005, gained the chancellery last year in an alliance with the far-right Freedom Party. Alan Crawford,, "As Merkel’s Power Drains, the Threat to Europe Grows," 27 June 2018 From both a long-term strategic and short-term PR perspective, the nuclear industry would much rather be in an alliance with oil and gas, pushing for a price on carbon, which is the one policy that could truly save its bacon. David Roberts, Vox, "Big oil and Bush-era lobbyists are teaming up to support a carbon tax," 22 June 2018 In a move that strengthens his music portfolio, the Colombian singer/songwriter is consolidating his relationship with UMLE in an alliance established between GTS and Rebeca Leon's Lionfish Entertainment, according to a spokesperson for UMLE. Justino Aguila, Billboard, "Juanes Enters Record & Co-Management Contract With Universal Music Latin Entertainment: Exclusive," 13 June 2018 Trump and May were scheduled to spend a lot of time together on the second day of his U.K. visit, part of a European tour intended to shore up alliances before Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Trump's bombshell interview with UK tabloid threatens to overshadow visit to Britain," 13 July 2018 Nicklen co-founded a nonprofit photography alliance called Sea Legacy, which fights for a number of ocean environmental issues, including the salvation of wild fish populations. Ahalya Srikant, WIRED, "Photo of the Week: Taking to the Sky to End Open-Water Salmon Farms," 9 July 2018 At least in Paracas society, the optimal strategy of civilization building involved creating widespread alliances early on and then expanding on this model over centuries. Charles Stanish, Smithsonian, "How Feasting Rituals Help Shape Human Civilization," 5 July 2018 Sometimes an alliance or a relationship can fall apart because of myriad reasons too small to notice, or maybe even for no real reason at all. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "In Spurs’ saga, explanations remain elusive," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alliance.' 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 alliance


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for alliance


see ally entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alliance

Statistics for alliance

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alliance

The first known use of alliance was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for alliance



English Language Learners Definition of alliance

: a union between people, groups, countries, etc. : a relationship in which people agree to work together

: the state of being joined in some activity or effort : the state of being allied

: a group of people, countries, etc., that are joined together in some activity or effort


al·​li·​ance | \ə-ˈlī-əns \

Kids Definition of alliance

1 : a relationship in which people, groups, or countries agree to work together The oil company and the environmental group formed an unusual alliance.

2 : an association of people, groups, or nations working together for a specific purpose the Alliance for Arts Education

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on alliance

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


obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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