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 Going forward, congressional offices must try to allay feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability, said Jeff Lomonaco, chief of staff for Democratic Sen. Tina Smith. Jim Spencer, Star Tribune, "Lawmakers' sense of security shattered," 8 Jan. 2021 The signing is slated to take place during a vaccine summit at the White House, with the hope that the order will allay fears that there will not be enough doses of the vaccine to go around after distribution begins. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Tuesday, December 8," 8 Dec. 2020 The results produced in this fashion may be the most beneficial since the personal third-party assurances might allay any skepticism about your purely altruistic motives. Ken Perrotte, Outdoor Life, "Make This Veterans Day Count and Take a Military Vet Outdoors," 11 Nov. 2020 These individuals are also working to allay fears surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. Sujata Srinivasan,, "Flu fighters combat vaccination fears in New Haven," 28 Dec. 2020 Vaccine distribution has begun, helping allay the pervasive fears about another shutdown. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "What Democrat Joe Biden’s presidency might mean for Texas businesses," 18 Dec. 2020 The ability to allay those fears and assure safety for students who are experiencing loss is a bit of a challenge, Rossen said. Safia Samee Ali, NBC News, "How grief training is helping educators manage pandemic-related trauma in schools," 23 Nov. 2020 The argument that Trump’s attempt is all for show and will not succeed has done little to allay their concern. Jim Rutenberg And Kathleen Gray New York Times, Star Tribune, "Duty or party? For Republicans, a choice on whether to enable Trump," 21 Nov. 2020 Many economists agree that the more than $2 trillion relief bill Trump signed into law in the spring helped to significantly allay economic pain across the country. Jordan Fabian,, "Trump Allies Stumped by Unilateral Move to Scrap Stimulus Talks," 7 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for allay

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for allay

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Allay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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