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 Use diplomacy to sidestep disputes and allay someone’s secret fears. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for May 5, 2021: Taurus, make wants, needs known; Pisces, keep your dreams alive," 5 May 2021 And, to date, there have been over 180 million injections of those, which should allay fears of a similar reaction. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Everything we know about the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine pause (so far)," 13 Apr. 2021 As a result, Veno said, his organization is working on ways to better communicate with staff and to try to allay fears about the vaccine for COVID-19, which in Kentucky has infected more than 400,000 people and resulted in 6,373 deaths. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "CDC cites COVID-19 outbreak at Kentucky nursing home in urging more staff to be vaccinated," 22 Apr. 2021 To allay reservations on both sides, develop a program where warm leads can recommend prospects on the basis of a positive trial or experience. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "14 Smart Sales Tactics To Close The 'Credibility Gap' With Potential Clients," 19 Apr. 2021 Chinese officials are making no effort to allay Philippine anger. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "China sends hundreds of ships into Philippine waters, pushing Duterte back toward US," 6 Apr. 2021 Ariel joined her boys about a day after their admission after spending hours on the phone trying to navigate the bureaucracy of a major health care system and allay the fears of her crying son. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Stories of children separated from parents highlight the price of Hong Kong's coronavirus success," 17 Mar. 2021 Lyz also seems unsure about her talents as a skier, an insecurity that Fred’s no-nonsense ways do nothing to allay, at least initially. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, "Slalom Is a Portrait of Abuse That Denies Easy Answers," 8 Apr. 2021 Keeping employees in-the-know will not only help avoid confusion and allay any fears that they’re being left in the dark, but also conveys that they’re valued, supported team members. Jessica Militare, Forbes, "How To Help Support Your Employees’ Mental Health," 5 Apr. 2021

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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Learn More about allay

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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Allay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for allay



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

More from Merriam-Webster on allay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for allay

Nglish: Translation of allay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of allay for Arabic Speakers

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