1. Steadfast in allegiance to one's homeland, government, or sovereign.
2. Faithful to a person, ideal, custom, cause, or duty. See Synonyms at faithful.
3. Of, relating to, or marked by loyalty: thanked the voters for their loyal support.
[French, from Old French leial, loial, from Latin lēgālis, legal, from lēx, lēg-, law; see leg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.