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verb al·ly \ə-ˈlī, ˈa-ˌlī\

Simple Definition of ally

  • : to join (yourself) with another person, group, etc., in order to get or give support

Full Definition of ally


  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to unite or form a connection or relation between :  associate <allied himself with a wealthy family by marriage>

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to form or enter into an alliance <two factions allying with each other>

Examples of ally

  1. There may be occasions when America can ally with some of those states, as we did during the Gulf War. —Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, 15 Oct. 2001

  2. Teresa's right to teach, however, would not be vindicated until our time when the late Paul VI named her a doctor of the church. In her own lifetime Teresa had the good sense to ally herself with outstanding supporters such as the observant Franciscan Peter Alcantara and the famous Dominican theologian, Domenico Báñez. —Lawrence S. Cunningham, Commonweal, 28 Jan. 2000

  3. The singers ally themselves with a gifted songwriter, and everyone gets some major-label exposure for what just happens to be a splendid album. —Michael Azerrad, Rolling Stone, 13-27 July 1995

  4. Generally, however, psychoanalysts do ally themselves with two positions, the first of which is that dreams are meaningful. —Wynn Schwartz, Dreamtime and Dreamwork, 1990

  5. She's allied herself with the moderates on this issue.

  6. countries allying themselves with the EU

  7. He'll even admit that he's hoping to ally himself to a wealthy family by marriage.

  8. They've allied with their former enemies.

Origin of ally

Middle English allien, from Anglo-French alier, from Latin alligare to bind to, from ad- + ligare to bind — more at ligature

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with ally

aby, agley, air-dry, Alai, Altai, anti, apply, assai, awry, aye-aye, Bacchae, Baha'i, banzai, barfly, bee fly, Belgae, belie, bigeye, big lie, black eye, blackfly, black tie, blow-dry, blowby, blowfly, blue-sky, Bo Hai, bone-dry, bonsai, botfly, Brunei, buckeye, bugeye, bye-bye, canaille, catchfly, cat's-eye, Chennai, chess pie, Chiang Mai, cockeye, cockshy, come by, comply, cow pie, crane fly, cross-eye, deadeye, decry, deep-fry, deep-sky, deerfly, defy, Delphi, deny, descry, do by, dong quai, drip-dry, drop by, dry eye, dry fly, elhi, Eli, espy, face fly, firefly, fish-eye, flesh fly, flyby, fly high, forby, freeze-dry, frogeye, fruit fly, gadfly, gallfly, get by, GI, glass eye, go by, good-bye, greenfly, grisaille, gun-shy, Haggai, Hawkeye, heel fly, hereby, hi-fi, hog-tie, horn fly, horsefly, housefly, imply, jai alai, July, Karzai, Kasai, knee-high, lanai, Lanai, lay-by, lay by, Lehigh, let fly, Levi, lie by, magpie, mai tai, mao-tai, Masai, mayfly, medfly, mind's eye, Moirai, mooneye, Mumbai, my eye, nearby, necktie, nilgai, nisi, outbye, outcry, oxeye, pad thai, Panay, panfry, Parcae, piece-dye, pigsty, pinkeye, Po Hai, pop eye, pop fly, potpie, put by, Qinghai, quasi, rabbi, red-eye, rely, reply, rib eye, ride high, rocaille, rough-dry, run dry, Sakai, sand fly, sci-fi, screw eye, semi, Sendai, serai, set by, shanghai, Shanghai, sheep's eye, shoofly, shut-eye, Sinai, sky-high, small-fry, stand by, standby, stir-fry, string tie, supply, swear by, terai, test-fly, thereby, tie-dye, titi, tongue-tie, Transkei, twist tie, two-ply, untie, vat dye, Versailles, walleye, well-nigh, whereby, whitefly, wild rye, wise guy



noun al·ly \ˈa-ˌlī, ə-ˈlī\

Simple Definition of ally

  • : a country that supports and helps another country in a war

  • the Allies : the nations that fought together against Germany in World War I or World War II

  • : a person or group that gives help to another person or group

Full Definition of ally

plural al·lies

  1. 1 :  a sovereign or state associated with another by treaty or league

  2. 2 :  a plant or animal linked to another by genetic or taxonomic proximity

  3. 3 :  one that is associated with another as a helper :  auxiliary

Examples of ally

  1. When the Soviets pulled out in early 1989, the ensuing power vacuum turned former allies into enemies. The Muslim fighters known as mujahideen, who were unified in their struggle against the Soviets, disbanded and fought one another for control of Kabul in a devastating civil war. —Jiffer Bourguignon, Saveur, March 2008

  2. Our allies would need us more than we would need them, so we could count on them to rally to our side in a crunch. —Samantha Power, New York Times Book Review, 29 July 2007

  3. These groups have learned from experience that the media are their most valuable ally. Publicity increases tips that fuel an investigation, and many communities have launched special-alert systems in the past few years to get news of an abduction on the air within minutes. —Andrew Murr, Newsweek, 29 July 2002

  4. fought with the Allies in World War II

  5. She's counting on her allies in the state legislature.

Origin of ally

(see 1ally)

First Known Use: 1598


adverb suffix al·ly

Definition of -ally

  1. :  2-ly <terrifically> —in adverbs formed from adjectives in -ic with no alternative form in -ical

Origin of -ally

1-al + -ly

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