- faithful to one's sovereign, government, or state: a loyal subject.
- faithful to one's oath, commitments, or obligations: to be loyal to a vow.
- faithful to any leader, party, or cause, or to any person or thing conceived as deserving fidelity: a loyal friend.
- characterized by or showing faithfulness to commitments, vows, allegiance, obligations, etc.: loyal conduct.
Origin of loyal
- having or showing continuing allegiance
- faithful to one's country, government, etc
- of or expressing loyalty
Word Origin and History for loyalness
1530s, in reference to subjects of sovereigns or governments, from Middle French loyal, from Old French loial, leal "of good quality; faithful; honorable; law-abiding; legitimate, born in wedlock," from Latin legalem, from lex "law." In most cases it has displaced Middle English leal, which is from the same French source. Sense development in English is feudal, via notion of "faithful in carrying out legal obligations." In a general sense (of dogs, lovers, etc.), from c.1600. As a noun meaning "those who are loyal" from 1530s (originally often in plural).