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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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

Facts: There's no outward sign that Trump's aggressive posturing changed anything for the alliance other than bruise its veneer of unity. Calvin Woodward And Hope Yen,, "Trump is in Europe and the truth is not with him: A fact check," 14 July 2018 For more than an hour, the transatlantic alliance was caught in the chaos of Trump’s making — until the president called an impromptu news conference to announce that everything, in fact, was just fine. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: GOP candidates caught in a bind on Medicaid," 13 July 2018 Clinton said when the alliance’s formation was announced, adding that clean stoves could be as transformative as vaccines. Sara Morrison, USA TODAY, "In developing world, an expensive push to reduce cooking fire deaths falls short," 13 July 2018 Instead, the alliance’s most important member kicked things off by berating some of its closest allies. Alex Ward, Vox, "Trump blasted US allies within minutes of arriving at NATO summit," 11 July 2018 Still, as Mr Stoltenberg stresses, the alliance has survived disagreements in the past, from Suez to the Iraq war. The Economist, "Will Donald Trump be Triumphant, Tetchy or Torpedo?," 5 July 2018 Intel and Microsoft have followed in each other’s footsteps for decades under the famous Wintel alliance. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Intel now faces a fight for its future," 22 June 2018 The staff at the cardiac alliance say the problem isn't just one of passports stuck in immigration processing. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "These Haitian kids need surgery in another country. Getting a passport is the hard part," 22 June 2018 The alliance holds workshops with staff on issues and other programs, including a Day of Silence when students will not speak for an entire day, which represents a community unwilling to speak up or stand up for the rights of the LGBTQ communities. Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community, "Human Relations Commission, Windsor High GSA Kick Off Pride Month," 21 June 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

13 Sep 2018

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

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


the setting in which something occurs

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