Definition of alignment in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈlʌɪnm(ə)nt/


1 [mass noun] Arrangement in a straight line or in correct relative positions: the tiles had slipped out of alignment
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  • Most golfers assume that if their toes are lined up parallel to the target line, their alignment is correct.
  • Lay the tiles row by row, always keeping a watchful eye for correct alignment along the working lines.
  • They ensure that the patient's body is maintained in correct alignment during positioning and the procedure.
1.1 [count noun] The route or course of a railway or road: four railways, all on different alignments present-day road alignments
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  • The 4.35 km long rail cum road bridge, along with the ancillaries like new railway lines and stations and the new road alignments, is one of the biggest-ever projects in the Northeast.
  • The authority had also taken into account the metro rail and railway alignments that may align themselves with the system.
  • This option would use the existing Tramlink line from Croydon to Harrington Road and a new alignment is then proposed to follow the Network Rail track between Birkbeck and Crystal Palace.
1.2 [count noun] Archaeology A linear arrangement of stones: there were originally at least four massive stone alignments running from west to east
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  • Processions and alignments were important in henges and stone circles.
  • We can see this important change at Nosterfield Quarry, immediately to the north, where Bronze Age field ditches and single pit alignments were discovered.
  • Two as yet undated alignments of timber posts found near Brancaster could be Anglo-Saxon fish-traps, similar to examples found in the Blackwater estuary in Essex.
2A position of agreement or alliance: the uncertain nature of political alignments
More example sentences
  • It sometimes disturbed alliances and alignments, base agreements or trade arrangements, and friendly relations generally.
  • While a united Korea's chosen alliances and alignments might matter greatly to the powers of the Pacific, they would probably not constitute a casus belli.
  • However, to Bengio and Ozcan this relationship is not an alliance, but an alignment.


Late 18th century: from French alignement, from aligner (see align).

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