al·​lay | \ a-ˈlā How to pronounce allay (audio) , 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 These fears were allayed when Pellegrini was asked to explain Wilshere's absence at the post-match conference., "Manuel Pellegrini Provides Update on Jack Wilshere After Midfielder Was Left Out of Matchday Squad," 25 Aug. 2019 If Greinke carried any doubts about that assertion, they were allayed Tuesday. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros rout Rockies, pick up Zack Greinke in his debut," 6 Aug. 2019 Those fears have been allayed somewhat; the Mississippi River rose to 17.1 feet after a storm surge Friday and forecasters now expect its levels to decrease and the levees to hold. Gabriela Resto-montero, Vox, "Tropical Storm Barry: What we know," 14 July 2019 Yes, some beachfront communities are killing sharks in a misguided attempt to allay the fears of tourists, but others — especially in the Pacific — are recognizing that a shark is worth a lot more alive than dead. William Mckeever,, "Summer on the Cape means shark panic. But what if we embraced these majestic fish, instead of pushing them away?," 3 July 2019 To allay fears of permanent Democratic dominance, Republicans should reject Trumpism and redouble their efforts to court more nonwhite voters — something Reagan strongly believed was possible. Noah Smith, Twin Cities, "Noah Smith: Ronald Reagan, the diversity president," 8 Sep. 2019 Brooklyn has a more stable infrastructure than the Knicks would have given these two stars, but no amount of Caris LeVert hype or Kenny Atkinson coaching is enough to allay the broader concerns here. Andrew Sharp,, "NBA Free Agency Report Card: Grading the Nets, Knicks, 76ers and More from a Crazy Day 1," 1 July 2019 Dunleavy's administration has tried to allay concerns. Author: Mark Thiessen, Becky Bohrer, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska lawmakers weigh Dunleavy’s call for a special session in Wasilla," 20 June 2019 Bernal says his inspiration continues to be his late mother, who often treated Bernal to ice cream after Sunday mass to allay the hot and humid weather. Karla Vasquez, Los Angeles Times, "This sorbet from El Salvador is ‘without rival’," 15 Sep. 2019

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

19 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for allay

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

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More Definitions for allay


How to pronounce allay (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of allay

formal : to make (something) less severe or strong


al·​lay | \ ə-ˈlā How to pronounce allay (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for allay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with allay

Spanish Central: Translation of allay

Nglish: Translation of allay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of allay for Arabic Speakers

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).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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