AskDefine | Define loyalty

Dictionary Definition

loyalty

Noun

1 the quality of being loyal [ant: disloyalty]
2 feelings of allegiance
3 the act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action; "his long commitment to public service"; "they felt no loyalty to a losing team" [syn: commitment, allegiance, dedication]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Noun

  1. unswerving in allegiance
  2. faithful in allegiance to one's lawful sovereign or government
  3. faithful to a private person to whom fidelity is due
  4. faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product
  5. the state of being loyal; fidelity

Translations

the state of being loyal; fidelity
faithfulness or devotion to some person, cause or nation
Translations to be checked

Derived terms

See also

Extensive Definition

This page is about loyalty as faithfulness to a cause. For its use in business, see loyalty business model or Loyalty Marketing. For the Angel episode, see Loyalty (Angel episode).
Loyalty is faithfulness or a devotion to a person or cause.

Social and cultural

Loyalty evolved as devotion for one's family, gene-group and friends. Loyalty comes most naturally amongst small groups or tribes where the prospect of the whole casting out the individual seems like the ultimate, unthinkable rejection. Loyalty to tribes evolved from the evolutionary tactic that there is a greater chance of survival and procreation if animals form packs/tribes
In a feudal society, centered on personal bonds of mutual obligation, accounting for precise degrees of protection and fellowship can prove difficult. Loyalty in these circumstances can become a matter of extremes: alternative groups may exist, but lack of mobility will enter a personal sense of loyalty.
The rise of states (and later nation states) meant the harnessing of the "loyalty" concept to foster allegiance to the sovereign or established government of one’s country, also personal devotion and reverence to the sovereign and royal family.
Wars of religion and their interminglings with wars of states have seen loyalty used in religious senses too, involving faithful support of a chosen or traditional set of beliefs or of sports representatives. And in modern times marketing has postulated loyalties to abstract concepts such as the brand. Customer churn has become the opposite of loyalty, just as high treason once stood as the opposite of the same idea. Compare loyalty card.
Loyalty is also seen in business in a variety of ways. As governments have grown in size and scope, some people are more loyal to a company rather than to a country. As corporation complexity has grown, people have shifted their loyalties to individuals rather than companies. As those individuals move between companies, they often take other people with them. Stock options are one method devised to keep people loyal to a company.

Loyalty and ethics

Plato originally said that only a man who is just can be loyal, and that loyalty is a condition of genuine philosophy. The philosopher Josiah Royce said it was the supreme moral good, and that one's devotion to an object mattered more than the merits of the object itself.
Lao Tzu's take on loyalty: "When people lost sight of the way to live Came codes of love and honesty, Learning came, charity came, Hypocrisy took charge; When differences weakened family ties Came benevolent fathers and dutiful sons; And when lands were disrupted and misgoverned Came ministers commended as loyal."
(From the Witter Bynner translation.)
Loyalty ( American Head Charge ) It's just a reason to deny All the limits that border On the thiniest frailties that makes a sudden change
I'll pay my soul into sleep I'll make up words that I keep Letting nothing go to anyone at all
Where is your loyalty now When all the cards have been left on the table? Where is your loyalty now When all the cards have been left on the table?
All of them Bleed at the nerves That take so long To wear down
I'll pay my soul into sleep I'll make up words that I keep Letting nothing go to anyone at all
Where is your loyalty now
When all the cards have been left on the table? Where is your loyalty now When all the cards have been left on the table?
(This time I let go) This time I have made enough mistakes For you to bear against me in direct break Our original ideals, you let us down And betrayed our trust with all your promises
I see a piece of shit alive in you Cast them near enough to be a truth
This time I have made enough mistakes For you to bear against me in direct break Our original ideals, you let us down And betrayed our trust with all your promises
Where is your loyalty now When all the cards have been left on the table? Where is your loyalty now When all the cards have been left on the table?
There were many intents to replace loyalty with support of the ruling party, president, king or dictator.
Loyalty can be used as a tool of persuasion and brainwashing.
The quotation below allows to avoid the confusion:
"...all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their benefit; and that they have _at all times_ an undeniable and indefeasible right to _alter their form of government_ in such a manner as they may think expedient."
Under that gospel, the citizen who thinks he sees that the commonwealth's political clothes are worn out, and yet holds his peace and does not agitate for a new suit, is disloyal; he is a traitor."

Loyalty in the Bible

Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:24 NIV) Attempting to serve two masters leads to “double-mindedness” (James 4:8), undermining loyalty to a cause.

References

loyalty in German: Loyalität
loyalty in Spanish: Lealtad
loyalty in French: Loyauté
loyalty in Dutch: Trouw (ethiek)
loyalty in Slovak: Vernosť
loyalty in Chinese: 歸屬感

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abandon, acquiescence, adherence, adhesion, allegiance, application, ardency, ardor, assiduity, assiduousness, assigned task, attachment, bona fides, bond, bonne foi, bounden duty, bulldog tenacity, burden, business, call of duty, charge, commitment, committedness, compliance, concentration, conformity, constancy, dedication, deference, dependability, devoir, devotedness, devotion, devoutness, diligence, dogged perseverance, doggedness, duteousness, duties and responsibilities, dutifulness, duty, earnestness, endurance, engrossment, ethics, faith, faithfulness, fealty, fervency, fervidness, fervor, fidelity, fire, firmness, firmness of mind, fixedness, flintiness, good faith, heartiness, heat, heatedness, homage, impassionedness, imperative, indefatigability, industriousness, industry, inflexibility, insistence, insistency, intensity, intentness, line of duty, mission, must, obedience, obediency, obligation, observance, obstinacy, onus, ought, passion, passionateness, patience, patience of Job, patriotism, permanence, perseverance, persistence, persistency, pertinaciousness, pertinacity, piety, place, plodding, plugging, preoccupation, relentlessness, reliability, resolution, resolve, respect, rigidity, sedulity, sedulousness, self-imposed duty, seriousness, service, servility, servitium, settledness, sincerity, single-mindedness, singleness of purpose, slogging, spirit, stability, stamina, staunchness, staying power, steadfastness, steadiness, steeliness, stick-to-itiveness, stubbornness, submission, submissiveness, suit and service, suit service, tenaciousness, tenacity, tie, tirelessness, troth, true blue, trueness, trustworthiness, truth, unremittingness, unswerving attention, unyieldingness, vehemence, warmth, willingness, zeal
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