1. the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government or of a subject to his or her sovereign.
  2. loyalty or devotion to some person, group, cause, or the like.


  1. loyalty, as of a subject to his sovereign or of a citizen to his country
  2. (in feudal society) the obligations of a vassal to his liege lordSee also fealty, homage (def. 2)

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.

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