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[loi-uh l] /ˈlɔɪ əl/
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
1525-35; < Middle French, Old French loial, le(i)al < Latin lēgālis legal
Related forms
loyally, adverb
loyalness, noun
nonloyal, adjective
nonloyally, adverb
overloyal, adjective
overloyally, adverb
quasi-loyal, adjective
quasi-loyally, adverb
superloyal, adjective
superloyally, adverb
unloyal, adjective
unloyally, adverb
1. patriotic. 2. See faithful.
1. faithless, treacherous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for loyal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But he was a loyal friend, affectionate to his intimates, gracious in his manners, blameless in all the relations of life.

    Studies in Contemporary Biography James Bryce, Viscount Bryce
  • "He's a loyal kid, at that," Burke commented, with a grudging admiration.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • These men, christened "Copperheads," became more odious to loyal Northerners than were the avowed Secessionists.

    Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II John T. Morse
  • But, talk as he might, in Johnny Rosenfeld's loyal heart there was no thought of desertion.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Such discussions may not be necessary to strengthen the convictions of the great body of loyal citizens.

    Pages From an Old Volume of Life Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
British Dictionary definitions for loyal


having or showing continuing allegiance
faithful to one's country, government, etc
of or expressing loyalty
Derived Forms
loyally, adverb
loyalness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French loial, leial, from Latin lēgālislegal
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 loyal

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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