verb (used with object)
- to arrange in a straight line; adjust according to a line.
- to bring into a line or alignment.
- to bring into cooperation or agreement with a particular group, party, cause, etc.: He aligned himself with the liberals.
- to adjust (two or more components of an electronic circuit) to improve the response over a frequency band, as to align the tuned circuits of a radio receiver for proper tracking throughout its frequency range, or a television receiver for appropriate wide-band responses.
verb (used without object)
- to fall or come into line; be in line.
- to join with others in a cause.
- to place or become placed in a line
- to bring (components or parts, such as the wheels of a car) into proper or desirable coordination or relation
- (tr usually foll by with) to bring (a person, country, etc) into agreement or cooperation with the policy, etc of another person or group
- (tr) psychol to integrate or harmonize the aims, practices, etc of a group
- (usually foll by with) psychol to identify with or match the behaviour, thoughts, etc of another person
early 15c., “to copulate” (of wolves, dogs), literally “to range (things) in a line,” from Middle French aligner, from Old French alignier “set, lay in line,” from à “to” (see ad-) + lignier “to line,” from Latin lineare, from linea (see line (n.)). Transitive or reflective sense of “to fall into line” is from 1853. International political sense is attested from 1934. No justification for the French spelling, and aline was an early native form. Related: Aligned; aligning.