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[uh-lahyn-muh nt] /əˈlaɪn mənt/
an adjustment to a line; arrangement in a straight line.
the line or lines so formed.
the proper adjustment of the components of an electronic circuit, machine, etc., for coordinated functioning:
The front wheels of the car are out of alignment.
a state of agreement or cooperation among persons, groups, nations, etc., with a common cause or viewpoint.
a ground plan of a railroad or highway.
Archaeology. a line or an arrangement of parallel or converging lines of upright stones or menhirs.
Also, alinement.
Origin of alignment
1780-90; align + -ment; replacing earlier alignement < French
Related forms
nonalinement, noun
realignment, noun
self-alignment, noun
self-alinement, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for alignment
  • There may have been a warping of the door frame that caused the door to get out of alignment.
  • Instead, there is a misty-eyed alignment of the state with the public interest.
  • Their alignment also hinted at a spine connection typical of upright-walking primates-in other words, humans and human ancestors.
  • Set it on the top spacers to check alignment and squareness of the modules, then set aside.
  • Finally, once your wheels are mounted, check their alignment.
  • Ray said the solar alignment was probably designed for the ritual effect rather than any scientific purpose.
  • They are drawn to the specific focus of the program and the alignment of their chosen program with their career goals.
  • The alignment of the liquid crystals in the array controls the direction in which light is reflected from them.
  • In fact, the site's architecture is the result of centuries of careful construction and alignment.
  • These images were compromised by a mirror alignment problem.
British Dictionary definitions for alignment


arrangement in a straight line
the line or lines formed in this manner
alliance or union with a party, cause, etc
proper or desirable coordination or relation of components
a ground plan of a railway, motor road, etc
(archaeol) an arrangement of one or more ancient rows of standing stones, of uncertain significance
(psychol) integration or harmonization of aims, practices, etc within a group
(psychol) identification with or matching of the behaviour, thoughts, etc of another person
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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Word Origin and History for alignment

1790, "arrangement in a line," from French alignement, from aligner (see align). Political sense is from 1933.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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