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allegiance

[ uh-lee-juhns ]
/ əˈli dʒəns /
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noun

the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government or of a subject to his or her sovereign.
loyalty or devotion to some person, group, cause, or the like.

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Origin of allegiance

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English aliegiaunce, equivalent to a- probably a-5 + liegeliege + -aunce-ance; compare Middle French ligeance
See loyalty.
non·al·le·giance, nouno·ver·al·le·giance, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does allegiance mean?

Allegiance is loyalty or faithfulness, especially to a person or cause.

Allegiance usually refers to a loyalty that is considered extremely important, such as to a country or leader.

If you went to school in the United States, you’re familiar with the Pledge of Allegiance, which is an oath of loyalty to the country recited by schoolchildren and at patriotic ceremonies. This type of formal loyalty is what’s implied by allegiance.

The adjective form of allegiance is allegiant.

Example: Her supporters’ allegiance never lessened, even in the aftermath of the scandal.

Where does allegiance come from?

The first records of the word allegiance come from the 1300s. It comes from the French root lige, meaning “liege,” a feudal lord entitled to allegiance and service. The word originally referred to such loyalty—that owed to a king or lord. Later, it came to mean a person’s duty to their government.

Now that all-powerful monarchs aren’t quite as popular as they were in the Middle Ages, allegiance is used in different contexts. Still, it usually applies to relationships considered important to someone’s identity. A person may show allegiance to their home country after moving away. A president’s advisers may show allegiance by remaining loyal no matter what. Ultra-devoted fans could even describe themselves as having allegiance, such as to a sports team or a pop star. In just about every instance, people who show allegiance are pledging their loyalty to someone more powerful or something bigger than themselves.

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What are some other forms of allegiance?

What are some synonyms for allegiance?

What are some words that share a root or word element with allegiance

What are some words that often get used in discussing allegiance?

 

How is allegiance used in real life?

Having allegiance means you are all in on loyalty, so the word is usually used to refer to serious faithfulness to someone or something.

 

 

Try using allegiance!

True or False? 

Allegiance usually refers to loyalty that is casual or could change.

British Dictionary definitions for allegiance

allegiance
/ (əˈliːdʒəns) /

noun

loyalty, as of a subject to his sovereign or of a citizen to his country
(in feudal society) the obligations of a vassal to his liege lordSee also fealty, homage (def. 2)
C14: from Old French ligeance, from lige liege
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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