alliance vs alignment

March31

Member
Chinese
In the difference between alignment and alliance, I think alliance is stronger, especially in military or politics, while alignment can be somehow temporary. Do you think this is correct? Is there any different usage of this word about the definition as below?

1. N-VAR An alignment is support for a particular group, especially in politics, or for a side in a quarrel or struggle.
The church should have no political alignment. (from Collin Dictionary)
Do you think it is appropriate if I replace "alignment" with "alliance"? I don't think so. Thanks.
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    They are certainly not synonyms, and no, you can't replace 'alignment' with 'alliance' (and have the same meaning) in your sentence.

    If you are in 'alignment' it means you think the same things (you are in agreement with).

    If you are in an 'alliance', you think the same things, but have agreed (often formally) to work together/support each other.
     

    March31

    Member
    Chinese
    They are certainly not synonyms, and no, you can't replace 'alignment' with 'alliance' (and have the same meaning) in your sentence.

    If you are in 'alignment' it means you think the same things (you are in agreement with).

    If you are in an 'alliance', you think the same things, but have agreed (often formally) to work together/support each other.
    Thank you for your help. I'm not sure I understand.

    Do you mean the difference between "alliance" and "alignment" is alliance refers to work together or support but alignment is without working together or support?

    But the Collin Dictionary defines "alignment" is about support in the quote of my first post, and Wordreference Dictionary doesn't mean "support" directly in its defintion.

    alignment - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

    Could you explain again the usage?
     
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