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

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 Traders in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar shut their stores to protest rising prices and the weakening of Iran’s currency, official news agencies reported, as Iranian officials took action to allay concerns that an economic crisis was looming. Bloomberg,, "Tehran's Grand Bazaar shut down as economic protests spread," 26 June 2018 In late April, Katz asked the city to delay a May hearing with the zoning board and said additional meetings would be held with community groups and residents to allay concerns about the billboard. Melanie Burney,, "Delay sought again for Camden billboard proposal," 4 June 2018 These rumours have set alarm bells jangling at United and the club will seek to allay any concerns about the England striker's future by extending his current contract., "Manchester United Ready to Allay Marcus Rashford Exit Worries With Bumper New Contract Offer," 13 May 2018 The recent data and estimates have helped allay fears that a Lake Huron-like collapse was imminent on Lake Michigan. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Lake Michigan chinook and alewife are near the desired balance, a new report says," 28 Mar. 2018 None of that was adequate to allay fears that tourists will abandon Ocean City and flock to other beaches if Maryland’s horizon is dotted with towering wind turbines, though. Scott Dance,, "A wind farm developer offered Ocean City free electricity, but resort town is still fighting offshore turbines," 11 June 2018 Trump tweeted praise Sunday for the longtime US adversary, in the latest signal that his concerns about the North’s stance toward the summit had been allayed. Motoko Rich,, "Trump to meet Japan’s leader about North Korea summit," 28 May 2018 Trump’s tweet offered praise for the longtime U.S. adversary, and the latest signal that his concerns about the North’s stance toward the summit have been allayed. The Seattle Times, "US team in NKorea raises expectations of a Trump-Kim summit," 27 May 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

5 Oct 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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Comments on allay

What made you want to look up allay? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not any or not one

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