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 All these worries would be allayed if TikTok turns out to be a passing fad. The Economist, "TikTok’s silly clips raise some serious questions," 7 Nov. 2019 The temporary reprieve did not allay worries about being displaced in an increasingly expensive city., "The tenants have been told they can apply for the program, called Studio 551, but that the criteria have not been set for residencies that are expected to last from six months to six years.," 7 Nov. 2019 Yet that didn't allay concerns by Donato, the federal judge charged with determining how much PG&E sets aside to cover property and other losses. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Deadline extended for California fire victims to seek compensation," 29 Oct. 2019 Some of those fears were allayed on Friday when a government jobs report showed that employers are still adding jobs at a healthy clip and that the national unemployment rate dropped to a five-decade low. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Asian shares rise despite worries on US-China talks," 7 Oct. 2019 Her comments allay months of speculation within City Hall about whether the District 1 supervisor — who represents the Richmond District and other surrounding neighborhoods — would seek another four year term on the Board of Supervisors. Trisha Thadani,, "SF Supervisor Fewer ‘90%’ sure she’s running for re-election in 2020," 4 Oct. 2019 The move could allay the worries of antitrust regulators regarding the combined operation’s anti-inflammatory drug lineup. David Meyer, Fortune, "Ferdinand Piëch’s Legacy: CEO Daily," 27 Aug. 2019 This should allay any remaining Democratic fears of interference from the Justice Department. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Why Mueller saying his probe wasn’t “curtailed” has nothing to do with obstruction," 24 July 2019 But the indefinite suspension of the law did not allay the fears and distrust of protesters, who insisted on the bill’s complete withdrawal. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s extradition bill is officially “dead,” but not dead enough for protesters," 9 July 2019

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

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Allay.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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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