al·​lay | \a-ˈlā, ə-\
allayed; allaying; allays

Definition of allay 

transitive verb

1 : to subdue or reduce in intensity or severity : alleviate expect a breeze to allay the heat

2 : to make quiet : calm trying to allay their fears

intransitive verb

obsolete : to diminish in strength : subside

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Choose the Right Synonym for allay

relieve, alleviate, lighten, assuage, mitigate, allay mean to make something less grievous. relieve implies a lifting of enough of a burden to make it tolerable. took an aspirin to relieve the pain alleviate implies temporary or partial lessening of pain or distress. the lotion alleviated the itching lighten implies reducing a burdensome or depressing weight. good news would lighten our worries assuage implies softening or sweetening what is harsh or disagreeable. ocean breezes assuaged the intense heat mitigate suggests a moderating or countering of the effect of something violent or painful. the need to mitigate barbaric laws allay implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms. allayed their fears

Examples of allay in a Sentence

The new advertising campaign is an attempt to allay the public's concerns about the safety of the company's products. a gentle breeze would allay the heat

Recent Examples on the Web

Ito said more talks with market workers and businesses are needed to allay worries and convince them the move was the best option. Yuri Kageyama, The Seattle Times, "Official: Move of Japan fish market could have been better," 16 Oct. 2018 Vrsaljko was the subject of speculation linking him with a transfer to Serie A during the January transfer window, but any fears of a possible summer departure have now been allayed with the 26-year-old pledging his loyalty to Los Rojiblancos., "Atletico Tie Down Sime Vrsaljko Until June 2022 as Full-Back Pens New Rojiblancos Deal," 6 Feb. 2018 Still, there remains a genuine fear — perhaps slightly allayed now following Washington and Pyongyang’s diplomatic thaw — that the leaders might escalate their public squabble into a nuclear conflict. Alex Ward, Vox, "This is exactly how a nuclear war would kill you," 19 Oct. 2018 The longer-range EVs that are coming to market to allay drivers’ range anxiety will have larger and more powerful batteries. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Electric cars still face a big hurdle: the charging system," 3 Oct. 2018 But getting to the root of your problems can ease discomfort and allay embarrassing symptoms. Jill Provost, Woman's Day, "End Digestive Problems for Good," 21 May 2012 However, Martin's agent was quick to allay any rumours of a switch to Sporting's local rivals., "Liverpool & Arsenal Handed Major Boost In Pursuit of Gelson Martins By Portugal Star's Agent," 2 July 2018 To allay germaphobic parents, the packages include instructions on how to properly wash hands and the molds. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Jell-O to kids: It's official. Now you can play with your food," 27 June 2018 Cosco had offered to sell the Long Beach terminal and place it in a U.S. trust to allay U.S. national-security concerns about Chinese ownership of the facility, The Wall Street Journal reported in June. Joanne Chiu, WSJ, "China’s Cosco Gets U.S. Security Clearance to Purchase Shipping Rival," 8 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'allay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of allay

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for allay

Middle English alayen, from Old English ālecgan, from ā- (perfective prefix) + lecgan to lay — more at abide, lay

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Statistics for allay

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for allay

The first known use of allay was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for allay



English Language Learners Definition of allay

: to make (something) less severe or strong


al·​lay | \ə-ˈlā \
allayed; allaying

Kids Definition of allay

1 : to make less severe allay pain

2 : to put to rest allay fears

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More from Merriam-Webster on allay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with allay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for allay

Spanish Central: Translation of allay

Nglish: Translation of allay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of allay for Arabic Speakers

Comments on allay

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a knickknack or trinket

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