an adjustment to a line; arrangement in a straight line.
the line or lines so formed.
the proper adjustment of the components of an electronic circuit, machine, etc., for coordinated functioning:
The front wheels of the car are out of alignment.
a state of agreement or cooperation among persons, groups, nations, etc., with a common cause or viewpoint.
a ground plan of a railroad or highway.
Archaeology. a line or an arrangement of parallel or converging lines of upright stones or menhirs.
Contemporary Examples

Pop culture, public sentiment, and politics all sort of move in alignment, OK?
Can an Action Star Be Gay? Tricia Romano October 23, 2011

“His alignment with NOM was really part of a downhill spiral for him,” he said.
The Man Behind NOM’s New War on Transgender Students Caitlin Dickson October 2, 2013

Psychics and astrologers were employed to attack the enemy and plan tactics based on the alignment of the stars.
Hitler’s Hunt for the Holy Grail and the Ghent Altarpiece Noah Charney December 20, 2013

It’s the job of political institutions to bring wishes into alignment with resources, ends with means.
Dead on Arrival (Updated) David Frum February 14, 2012

We don’t know who they’re voting for, but in most states, this alignment is a good proxy for the candidates.
Reading the Early Voting Tea Leaves Justin Green November 1, 2012

Historical Examples

Examine them often and, if the least wear shows, improve the alignment.
Motion Picture Operation, Stage Electrics and Illusions Henry C. Horstmann

As long as this alignment of forces could not be effected the retreat had to continue.
The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII) Various

In this case, the alignment of the parts is a part of the process in welding the rod, and setting it after welding.
Modern Machine-Shop Practice, Volumes I and II Joshua Rose

There was no alignment—regiments were dashed to pieces—everybody was mixed up.
The Long Roll Mary Johnston

It seems that this alignment is for a stabilization in leaping.
Speciation in the Kangaroo Rat, Dipodomys ordii Henry W. Setzer

arrangement in a straight line
the line or lines formed in this manner
alliance or union with a party, cause, etc
proper or desirable coordination or relation of components
a ground plan of a railway, motor road, etc
(archaeol) an arrangement of one or more ancient rows of standing stones, of uncertain significance
(psychol) integration or harmonization of aims, practices, etc within a group
(psychol) identification with or matching of the behaviour, thoughts, etc of another person

1790, “arrangement in a line,” from French alignement, from aligner (see align). Political sense is from 1933.

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