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[uh-lee-juh ns] /əˈli dʒəns/
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.
Origin of allegiance
1350-1400; Middle English aliegiaunce, equivalent to a- probably a-5 + liege liege + -aunce -ance; compare Middle French ligeance
Related forms
nonallegiance, noun
overallegiance, noun
See loyalty.
1. treason. 2. treachery. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for allegiance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In return for their allegiance, he bailed them out of jail when necessary.

  • Even the political parties are losing the allegiance of the press.

  • He demanded to be permitted to make a solemn affirmation or declaration of allegiance, instead of taking the usual oath.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • Even Will be Will seemed to be wavering in his allegiance to Diabolus.

    Bunyan James Anthony Froude
  • His first step was to recall Regingar of Lothringia, who was oppressed by France, to his allegiance as vassal of the empire.

British Dictionary definitions for allegiance


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 lord See also fealty, homage (sense 2)
Word Origin
C14: from Old French ligeance, from ligeliege
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 allegiance

late 14c., from Anglo-French legaunce "loyalty of a liege-man to his lord," from Old French legeance, from liege (see liege); erroneously associated with Latin 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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