"alliance," mid-15c., ligg, from French ligue "confederacy, league" (15c.), from Italian lega, from legare "to tie, to bind," from Latin ligare "to bind" (from PIE root *leig- "to tie, bind"). Originally among nations, subsequently extended to political associations (1846) and sports associations (1879). League of Nations is attested from 1917 (created 1919).
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to tie, bind."
It forms all or part of: alloy; ally; colligate; deligate; furl; league (n.1) "alliance;" legato; liable; liaison; lien; lictor; ligand; ligament; ligate; ligation; ligature; oblige; rally (v.1) "bring together;" religion; rely.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin ligare "to bind;" Albanian lidh "I bind," and possibly Middle Low German lik "band," Middle High German geleich "joint, limb."
1530s, "to unite in a league or alliance," from Late Latin confoederatus, past participle of confoederare "to unite by a league," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + foederare, from foedus (genitive foederis) "a league," from suffixed form of PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade."
The older verb was confeder (late 14c.), from Old French confederer, Medieval Latin confederare. Related: Confederated; confederating.
1721, "union by agreement," from French fédération, from Late Latin foederationem (nominative foederatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin foederare "league together," from foedus "covenant, league" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade").