Etymology
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loyal (adj.)

"true or faithful in allegiance," 1530s, in reference to subjects of sovereigns or governments, from French loyal, from Old French loial, leal "of good quality; faithful; honorable; law-abiding; legitimate, born in wedlock," from Latin legalem, from lex "law" (see legal).

Identical with legal, which maintains the Latin form; in most uses it has displaced Middle English leal, which is an older borrowing of the French word. For the twinning, compare royal/regal. Sense development in English is feudal, via notion of "faithful in carrying out legal obligations; conformable to the laws of honor." In a general sense (of dogs, lovers, etc.), from c. 1600. As a noun meaning "those who are loyal" from 1530s (originally often in plural).

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Definitions of loyal

loyal (adj.)
unwavering in devotion to friend or vow or cause; "the true-hearted soldier...of Tippecanoe"- Campaign song for William Henry Harrison;
loyal supporters
Synonyms: firm / truehearted / fast
loyal (adj.)
steadfast in allegiance or duty;
loyal subjects
loyal friends stood by him
loyal (adj.)
inspired by love for your country;
Synonyms: patriotic
From wordnet.princeton.edu