al·​li·​ance | \ ə-ˈlī-ən(t)s How to pronounce alliance (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Alliance (audio) \

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

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Examples of alliance in a Sentence

Noun 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 This time, Cruella is a gritty, punk fashionista trying to make a name for herself in 1970s London, when an unlikely alliance brings out her bad side. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Emma Stone Is Your Edgy, Punk Cruella de Vil," 17 Feb. 2021 The company formed an alliance with fact-checking organizations, but had been reticent to outright ban or remove false or misleading posts. Vritti Rashi Goel, CBS News, "Facebook widens ban on vaccine misinformation," 8 Feb. 2021 An equally eclectic alliance has arrayed itself against the amendment, from the powerful state teacher's union to progressive academics to a conservative think tank. Patrick Condon, Star Tribune, "Page Amendment backers renew push for constitutional fix to school equity gap," 1 Feb. 2021 Workers at Google parent Alphabet have announced an international union alliance after a group of employees in the U.S. and Canada formed a union earlier this month. Chase Difeliciantonio,, "Alphabet workers form international union alliance, expanding organizing efforts," 25 Jan. 2021 Its plucky protagonist escapes many an ill fate nearly delivered by the claws and jaws of monsters and holds an uneasy alliance with a consortium of witches. John Maher, Vulture, "Winter Time Is Hilda Time," 25 Jan. 2021 Cortés formed an alliance with the rival nation of Tlaxcala and found many other supporters among peoples subjugated by the empire. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "In Mexico, Archaeologists Reveal a Story of Cannibalism and Conquest," 22 Jan. 2021 The unlikely alliance of a racetrack owner and an animal rights advocacy group is calling for the end of North American horses being sold to South Korean interests for the purpose of racing or breeding. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Two groups want to ban sale of racehorses to South Korean interests," 16 Dec. 2020 America has experienced surges of mainstream anarchism, socialism, and communism, most profoundly during the late 19th century, amid the Great Depression, during the Soviet-American alliance of World War II and afterward, and in the 1960s. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Where Did the New Mad Left Come From?," 15 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for alliance

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for alliance

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alliance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce alliance (audio) \

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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