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 But having answers, even fleeting ones, has allayed some of my concerns for now. Alexander Spinelli, STAT, "Recovery from Covid-19 is filled with uncertainty. An antibody test offered me a little comfort," 21 May 2020 His decision to quit did not allay public protests against the government., "Malta's Labor Party Picks New Chief After Reporter's Slaying," 10 May 2020 And that means Alsobrooks is spending a lot of time trying to allay fears. Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, "A county executive reaches out — at a distance — in the era of coronavirus," 24 Mar. 2020 Looking for 'younger' poll workers Both Democrats and Republicans leaders in Hamilton County on Thursday tried to allay fears about the safety of voting. Rick Rouan, Scott Wartman And Cole Behrens,, "Ohio elections boards frantically seeking poll workers due to coronavirus outbreak," 12 Mar. 2020 Investors are preparing for another wild day on Wall Street after the Dow Jones plunged by 2,000 points Thursday morning following President Donald Trump's latest attempt to allay economic fears over the coronavirus provided little assurance. NBC News, "Coronavirus could 'wreak havoc' on U.S. jails, experts warn," 12 Mar. 2020 Despite the president’s attempts to allay concern today, public health officials have been warning to expect community spread of Covid-19. Adam Rogers, Wired, "The US Has Its First “Community Spread” Coronavirus Case," 26 Feb. 2020 The supervisor proposed the ordinance last year in an attempt to allay concerns that his district was the dumping ground for all of the city’s homeless resources. Trisha Thadani,, "Shelter vs. housing: SF officials debate beds for homeless in every district," 6 Feb. 2020 Sabrina tried to allay his fears, saying that, now that the goo was gone, Nick really was back to just himself. Martha Sorren,, "Things Could Get Better In CAOS Part 4, Nick Stans," 24 Jan. 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

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Allay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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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

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