Alignment is the adjustment of an object in relation with other objects, or a static orientation of some object or set of objects in relation to others.

* This meaning applies in particular to alignment in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.
It has a more specific meaning in some disciplines:

  • Business/IT alignment, Business/IT alignment optimizes the relational mechanisms between the business and IT organization by working on the IT effectiveness of the organization in order to maximise the business value from IT.
  • Typographic alignment, in typesetting, lines of text or images can be aligned left, right, centered or justified.
  • Sequence alignment shows similarities between protein or nucleic acid sequences (also in bioinformatics).
  • Structural alignment presents similarities in 3D structure of protein molecules.
  • Strategic alignment refers to business structure and information technology fit in relation to business strategy and external environment. When alignment is attained firm gains competitive advantage and increase performance. Strategic information systems belong in this category.
  • Wheel alignment in an automobile means adjustment of the camber, castor, and/or toe to improve performance and maintain proper tire wear characteristics of the car
  • Data structure alignment, in computer programming, refers to arranging data in memory
  • Parallel text alignment, in artificial intelligence
  • Ontology alignment, in heterogeneous knowledge bases, the expression of the correspondences between two ontologies is called ontology alignment
  • Body alignment, in sport and dance, the proper placement of the bones so that the muscles do less work
  • Morphosyntactic alignment, in linguistics, the properties determining the grammatical relationship between verbal arguments of various kinds
  • Fibre alignment, in optoelectronics, to connect two Optical fibers to each other
  • Shaft alignment, in mechanical engineering, to adjust two coupled rotating machines
  • Planetary alignment, another term for Syzygy in astronomy

Other fields where the term "alignment" has a particular meaning:

  • Ley line, an interpretation of an alignment of a number of places of geographical interest, such as ancient megaliths.
  • In integrated circuit fabrication, alignment is the step in a photolithographic process in which a mask used to pattern a layer of the circuit is registered in its x-y position with respect to the wafer (usually silicon) on which the circuit is being formed.

The Alignment was also a political party in Israel from 1965 to 1992.

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