c.1400, from Anglo-Fr. legaunce
"loyalty of a liege-man to his lord," from O.Fr. legeance
, from liege
); erroneously associated with L. ligare
"to bind;" corrupted in spelling by confusion with the now-obsolete legal term allegeance
"alleviation." General figurative sense of "recognition of claims to respect or duty" is attested from 1732.