Definitions

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

  • adj. Steadfast in allegiance to one's homeland, government, or sovereign.
  • adj. Faithful to a person, ideal, custom, cause, or duty.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or marked by loyalty. See Synonyms at faithful.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Firm in allegiance to a person or institution.
  • adj. Faithful to a person or cause.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Faithful to law; upholding the lawful authority; faithful and true to the lawful government; faithful to the prince or sovereign to whom one is subject; unswerving in allegiance.
  • adj. True to any person or persons to whom one owes fidelity, especially as a wife to her husband, lovers to each other, and friend to friend; constant; faithful to a cause or a principle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • True or faithful in allegiance; keeping faith or troth; constant in service, devotion, or regard; not false or treacherous: used especially of allegiance to the sovereign, government, or law, but applied to all other relations of trust or confidence: as, a loyal subject; a loyal friend; to be loyal to one's cause.
  • Pertaining to or marked by allegiance or good faith; manifesting fidelity or devotion: as, loyal professions; loyal adherence to a principle.
  • Synonyms See allegiance.

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

  • adj. steadfast in allegiance or duty
  • adj. inspired by love for your country
  • adj. unwavering in devotion to friend or vow or cause

Etymologies

French, from Old French leial, loial, from Latin lēgālis, legal, from lēx, lēg-, law; see leg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French loial, leial, leal, from Latin lēgālis. (Wiktionary)

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