Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A close association of nations or other groups, formed to advance common interests or causes: an alliance of labor unions opposing the bill.
  • n. A formal agreement establishing such an association, especially an international treaty of friendship.
  • n. A connection based on kinship, marriage, or common interest; a bond or tie: the shifting alliances within a large family.
  • n. Close similarity in nature or type; affinity: the ancient alliance between mathematics and music.
  • n. The act of becoming allied or the condition of being allied: the church, acting in alliance with community groups.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of being allied.
  • n. The act of allying or uniting.
  • n. A union or connection of interests between families, states, parties, etc., especially between families by marriage and states by compact, treaty, or league.
  • n. Any union resembling that of families or states; union by relationship in qualities; affinity.
  • n. The persons or parties allied.
  • v. To connect or unite by alliance; to ally.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being allied; the act of allying or uniting; a union or connection of interests between families, states, parties, etc., especially between families by marriage and states by compact, treaty, or league
  • n. Any union resembling that of families or states; union by relationship in qualities; affinity.
  • n. The persons or parties allied.
  • transitive v. To connect by alliance; to ally.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To unite by confederacy; join in alliance; ally.
  • n. The state of being allied or connected; the relation between parties allied or connected.
  • n. Connection by kindred.
  • n. Union between nations, contracted by compact, treaty, or league. Such alliance may be defensive, that is, an agreement to defend each other when attacked; or offensive, that is, an agreement to make a combined attack on another nation; or it may be both offensive and defensive.
  • n. Any joining of efforts or interests by persons, families, states, or organizations: as, an alliance between church and state.
  • n. The compact or treaty which is the instrument of allying or confederating: as, to draw up an alliance.
  • n. The aggregate of persons or parties allied.
  • n. In botany, a grade intermediate between class and order: the equivalent in Lindley's classification of the more recent term cohort.
  • n. In zoology, a natural group of related families; a superfamily or suborder.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of forming an alliance or confederation
  • n. the state of being allied or confederated
  • n. a formal agreement establishing an association or alliance between nations or other groups to achieve a particular aim
  • n. a connection based on kinship or marriage or common interest
  • n. an organization of people (or countries) involved in a pact or treaty

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French aliance, from alier, to ally; see ally.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French aliance (French: alliance). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • For my part, I have to say that whether there be such an alliance depends, so far as I know, upon what may be a right definition of the term “alliance.

    Speech of Hon. Abraham Lincoln in Reply to Senator Douglas

  • In a letter to the Vienna Tageblatt, he advocates an economic alliance among the Continental nations for the purpose of barring out American goods, an economic alliance, in his own language, "_which may possibly and desirably develop into a political alliance_."

    War of the Classes

  • In announcing Key's visit, the White House said the leaders would discuss "the close friendship and partnership between our two countries" -- a sign of growing ties, but a notch below using the term alliance.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • You know there's going to be a showdown over some communications technology issue when Google, Best Buy, Mitsubishi, Sony, TiVo and two other big companies start a new group with the word "alliance" in it.

    Wired Top Stories

  • Lavrov said NATO should commit to "legally binding" security arrangements through the Vienna-based OSCE to cure what he called the alliance's appetite "for more and more scenarios" of unilateral actions.

    The BEING HAD Times

  • The success of the EMERJ alliance is part of the new organizing: taking local efforts, creating a national anchor team and alliance, and building a base that is truly connected to the grassroots through deep social, cultural, and community ties.

    Taj James: Movement Building and Deep Change: A Call to Mobilize Strong and Weak Ties

  • Rustin's internal commitment to non-violence and his ability to work in alliance led him to do two critical pieces of organizing.

    Taj James: Movement Building and Deep Change: A Call to Mobilize Strong and Weak Ties

  • ÂRustin's internal commitment to non-violence and his ability to work in alliance led him to do two critical pieces of organizing.

    Taj James: Movement Building and Deep Change: A Call to Mobilize Strong and Weak Ties

  • Iraq's main Kurdish alliance is on pace to finish well, despite a strong challenge from a breakaway party.

    Challenger Keeps Up in Iraq Poll

  • Promoted to Headline (H3) on 8/10/08: Building Alliances and Voting for Change in 2008 yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'Building Alliances and Voting for Change in 2008'; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'Article: Article advocates a long-term alliance of poor, working class and Middle Class Americans against the wealthiest of the Super Wealthy and large international corporations currently controlling our government.

    Building Alliances and Voting for Change in 2008

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  • "I never credited the Alliance with an overabundance of brains..." - Mal, Serenity

    December 18, 2007