allay

verb al·lay \ a-ˈlā , ə- \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

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

Examples of allay in a Sentence

  1. The new advertising campaign is an attempt to allay the public's concerns about the safety of the company's products.

  2. a gentle breeze would allay the heat

Recent Examples of allay from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of allay

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

ALLAY Defined for English Language Learners

allay

verb

Definition of allay for English Language Learners

  • : to make (something) less severe or strong


ALLAY Defined for Kids

allay

verb al·lay \ ə-ˈlā \

Definition of allay for Students

allayed; allaying
1 :to make less severe
  • allay pain
2 :to put to rest
  • allay fears


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