Align With: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
June 8, 2023

The idiom "align with" denotes a match or agreement with something. It could refer to beliefs, goals, actions, or strategies that are in line with each other, suggesting unity, consistency, or compatibility.

In short:

"Align with" refers to bringing things into harmony or agreement with one another.

What Does "Align With" Mean?

"Align with" means to arrange or bring separate things into an agreement, proper orientation, or congruence with one another. It refers to making them parallel, harmonious, or coincident in purpose or form.

Let's explore its core definitions:

  • It means to match or bring into proper arrangement or orientation.
  • It refers to making two or more things parallel or coincident with one another.
  • It signifies adapting or coordinating separate elements to function together harmoniously.
  • It could refer to organizing actions, strategies, policies, values, schedules, priorities, etc., into coherence or congruence.

Where Does "Align With" Come From?

"Align" comes from the French word "aligner," which itself is a combination of "à" (to) and "ligne" (line), essentially meaning "to line." It typically means to bring something into a position of agreement or cooperation with something else. For example, you might say that your goals align with your company's mission, or that your team's strategies align with your organization's goals.

The phrase can also be used more literally to describe the physical act of aligning two or more objects. For example, you might say that you need to align the wheels on your car, or that you need to align the pictures on your wall.

Historical Example

"To do this, the data points that align with the given direction of anisotropy are moved closer together relative to the control points that are perpendicular to this direction."

- Computer Modeling of Geologic Surfaces, 1992

10 Examples of "Align With" in Sentences

Here are some examples of how the idiom is used in sentences:

  • Our company values align with all of the above principles, fostering a positive work environment.
  • The project proposal aligns with our strategic goals for the next quarter.
  • As you align with our mission and values, we're delighted to say, welcome aboard!
  • The party's political agenda aligns with the needs of the working class.
  • We'll align our meeting schedule with your availability, and please provide us with your free slots at your earliest convenience.
  • Our teaching methods align with the educational standards set by the government.
  • We're working to align our new product launch with market trends, so stay tuned for updates.
  • The company's policies align with the industry standards to a tee, ensuring optimal compliance.
  • The research findings align with the initial hypothesis, confirming our assumptions.
  • Our corporate social responsibility initiatives align with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Examples of "Align With" in Pop Culture

The idiom "align with" commonly appears in contexts relating to politics, business, and personal growth, emphasizing harmony or agreement.

Let's look at some examples:

  • A quote from PC Magazine: "In a recreation of the Second World War, players align with one of three powers (England, France, or Germany, with more planned as the game progresses)."
  • "Aligned and Unstoppable: How to Align with Your Dreams, Clear Away Fears and Call in What’s Next" by Cassie Mendoza-Jones is an inspirational and relatable guide. It is designed to help build self-belief, release comparison, and give the confidence to embrace one's unique creativity to flourish in both business and life.

Other/Different Ways to Say "Align With"

There are several alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "align with."

Some of these include:

  • Conform to
  • Be in harmony with
  • Match up with
  • Correspond with
  • Be in agreement with

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Align With":

  • What does "align with" mean?

"Align with" implies being in agreement, conformity, or harmony with something, such as a belief, strategy, or goal.

  • How can I use "align with" in a sentence?

You can use "align with" to indicate a state of agreement or harmony. For instance, "The company's policies align with industry standards."

  • Where does the idiom "align with" come from?

The phrase derives from the French word "aligner," which means to line up or adjust. Over time, it evolved into the English term "align" and the idiom "align with."

  • Does "align with" always suggest complete agreement?

Not necessarily. While it implies a level of harmony or agreement, it does not automatically imply complete agreement or alignment in every aspect.

  • Can you use it in a professional context?

Yes, the phrase is frequently used in professional contexts, especially when discussing strategy, objectives, or values.

  • Does "align with" have a negative connotation?

No, "align with" is a neutral phrase that doesn't inherently carry a negative connotation.

  • Can you use it in a personal context?

Yes, you can use "align with" in a personal context, such as when your actions align with your beliefs.

  • What's the difference between "align with" and "agree with"?

While both phrases indicate a state of agreement, "align with" often suggests a deeper level of harmony or congruity, beyond mere agreement.

  • Can "align with" be used to describe inanimate objects?

Yes, the phrase can be used in this way, such as when a part in a machine aligns with another part.

  • Does "align with" suggest an active or passive process?

"Align with" can suggest either an active or passive process, depending on the context. For instance, actively aligning your actions with your beliefs, or values naturally aligning with those of a group.

Final Thoughts About "Align With"

The idiom "align with" refers to the state of agreement, conformity, or harmony with something. It is useful in various contexts and indicates a certain level of conformity or harmony.

Here's a quick recap:

  • The phrase signifies being in agreement or harmony with a certain principle, goal, or standard.
  • The phrase is of French origin, symbolizing alignment or adjustment.
  • It is applicable in various situations and contexts, showcasing its versatility and broad use.

If you "align with" something, you know it resonates deeply. The phrase serves as a reminder of the importance of consistency, coherence, and harmony in all aspects of life.

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