Definition of alliance in English:


Line breaks: al¦li|ance
Pronunciation: /əˈlʌɪəns


  • 1A union or association formed for mutual benefit, especially between countries or organizations: a defensive alliance between Australia and New Zealand divisions within the alliance
    More example sentences
    • There is a new openness by unions today to building alliances with community-based organizations and churches.
    • They would also benefit from alliances with community groups and other unions in putting pressure on their employer.
    • The council and the chamber should further seek alliances with such organisations as the tourism association for new ideas.
  • 1.1A relationship based on similarity of interests, nature, or qualities: an alliance between medicine and morality
    More example sentences
    • Monica says she's looking forward to expanding her public and private client base through her alliance with Noctor.
    • Here, his political background is left out, as is the nature of his criminal alliance with Tom.
    • Instead, Lovejoy recommends that practitioners develop alliances and become relationship managers.
    relationship, affinity, association, connection, closeness, kinship, propinquity
  • 1.2 [mass noun] The state of being joined or associated: his party is in alliance with the Greens
    More example sentences
    • Clive points me to the old Muslim Association of Britain website, dating from the days before it was in alliance with the Socialist Workers Party.
    • Apparently the UK went to war in alliance with the US ‘to make our country safer’.
    • For all the US's military and economic advantages, its power is enhanced when it acts in alliance with other countries.
  • 1.3 Ecology A group of closely related plant associations.
    More example sentences
    • As crystalline organization grows, the alliance builds and greater numbers of combinations of essences can be taken.
    • In practice, the levels of the alliance and/or association are the most often used, particularly in vegetation mapping.
    • I have been working on the origin and evolution of the woody sow-thistle alliance in the Macaronesian islands.


Middle English: from Old French aliance, from alier 'to ally' (see ally1).

More definitions of alliance

Definition of alliance in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody