1. An alliance, especially a temporary one, of people, factions, parties, or nations.
2. A combination into one body; a union.
a. A long-term cooperative alliance among a small number of male lions or cheetahs, especially to gain access to females or territory.
b. A transitory association of animals of the same species in which members join forces against another animal or animals to defend against an attack or gain access to a resource.
[French, from Medieval Latin coalitiō, coalitiōn-, from Latin coalitus, past participle of coalēscere, to grow together; see COALESCE.]
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.