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

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Synonyms for alliance

Synonyms: Noun

accord, compact, convention, covenant, pact, treaty

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Without sustained American engagement, Mr. Trump’s hoped-for grand alliance will fall short. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Trump’s Mideast Strategy," 14 Jan. 2019 In the weeks before the summit, alliance leaders feared Trump would try to blow everything up, dealing a truly severe blow to the multilateral world order and to trans-Atlantic deterrence and cohesion., "At NATO, Trump claims allies make new defense spending commitments after he upends summit," 13 July 2018 To finance these collective operations, and to demonstrate a unity of purpose and resolve, alliance members agree to set respective national defense spending at 2% of GDP. Brian Finlay, Fortune, "Trump Might Be Right About NATO—but for All the Wrong Reasons," 6 July 2018 Looking ahead to a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in July, Merkel reminded lawmakers that an alliance agreement in 2014 to boost capabilities was in part a response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Chris Reiter,, "Merkel Says Germany Only Thrives When Europe Thrives," 28 June 2018 Its rules are too confining, its web of connections—from trade treaties to security alliances—unfair. George Packer, The New Yorker, "Donald Trump Goes Rogue," 17 June 2018 A year ago, Original Soupman formed an alliance with Island Fresh Foods LLC, a wholesale food and beverage distributor that previously provided ingredients to Hale and Hearty Soups as well. Lillian Rizzo, WSJ, "Business Synonymous With ‘No Soup for You’ Wants to Make Soup for Everyone," 13 Dec. 2018 Grindelwald pursues Credence in the hope of forming an alliance, because Credence is an Obscurial: a wizard who carries a powerful symbiotic parasite known as an Obscurus. Aja Romano, Vox, "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’s bonkers plot twist, explained," 17 Nov. 2018 As protests culminating in violent confrontations with police and mass arrests have grown, opposition parties — many of them Yameen's own former political partners — formed an alliance in exile with the aim of unseating him. Bharatha Mallawarachi, Fox News, "Maldivian authorities assure free vote amid fears of rigging," 22 Sep. 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.

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First Known Use of alliance


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

History and Etymology for alliance


see ally entry 1

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Statistics for alliance

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alliance

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

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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

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Comments on alliance

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