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

Engadget notes that Jarvish is already selling the first generation of X helmets in Taiwan, so that may help allay some of your concerns about the tech when these helmets go on sale next year. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Jarvish’s smart motorcycle helmets will offer Alexa and Siri support and an AR display," 5 Oct. 2018 This can help allay some of their fears and concerns about being judged, Klein adds. Brittany Risher, SELF, "12 Things to Do When You Know Someone You Love Isn't 'Fine'," 18 Aug. 2018 The choice of a French politician for the role may also help allay historic concerns over Germany preaching to Poland. Marek Strzelecki,, "EU Says Poland Must Do More to Quell Concern Over Court Revamps," 25 June 2018 The family also contemplated adding a cathedral ceiling in the living room or adding a foyer, and the idea of an open-plan kitchen, dining room, mud room and laundry room helped allay their concerns about the house. Scott Sowers, miamiherald, "Pulling together a split-level | Miami Herald," 8 Mar. 2018 But the younger Saarinen, considered by schoolmates at Cranbrook to lack the natural confidence of his father, would allay some of that self-concern with a relentless drive. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Why Eero Saarinen’s ‘50s office was a breeding ground for modernist design," 8 Nov. 2018 In the face of House pressure — pressure Ryan did nothing to allay — the Justice Department partially complied with the subpoena in late June. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Paul Ryan is helping Trump undermine the rule of law," 27 July 2018 Trump’s decision this week to impose steep tariffs on imports of washing machines and solar panels did little to allay such concerns. Clay Chandler, Fortune, "Trump, China and Armageddon," 27 Jan. 2018 Those fears have been allayed in recent days as Saudi Arabia’s allies in the Arab world have come out strongly in its support, lending backing to regional companies who still plan to attend. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia Turns to Arab Allies to Prop Up ‘Davos in Desert’ Event," 17 Oct. 2018

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

26 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for allay

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on allay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with allay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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 corrupt or become corrupted

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