allege

verb
al·​lege | \ ə-ˈlej How to pronounce allege (audio) \
alleged; alleging

Definition of allege

transitive verb

1 : to assert without proof or before proving a report alleging that the company deliberately overcharged its customers She is alleged to have stolen more than $50,000 over the course of several years.
2 : to bring forward as a reason or excuse
3 archaic : to adduce or bring forward as a source or authority

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Did You Know?

These days, someone "alleges" something before presenting the evidence to prove it (or perhaps without evidence at all), but the word actually derives from the Middle English verb alleggen, meaning "to submit (something) in evidence or as justification." Alleggen, in turn, traces back to Anglo-French and probably ultimately to Latin allegare, meaning "to send as a representative" or "to offer as proof in support of a plea." Indeed, allege once referred to the actions of someone who came forward to testify in court; this sense isn't used anymore, but it led to the development of the current "assert without proof" sense.

Examples of allege in a Sentence

He alleged that the mayor has accepted bribes. The mayor is alleged to have accepted bribes. You allege that she stole a large quantity of money. Do you have any proof?
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Recent Examples on the Web Prosecutors allege that the professional football player spent tens of thousands of dollars meant for small-business coronavirus relief on designer jewelry and jaunts to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Amber Randall, sun-sentinel.com, "Star of ‘Love & Hip Hop in Miami’ bought Ferrari with COVID-19 relief funds, feds say," 7 Oct. 2020 Prosecutors allege that Lewinski was at a bar in West Seneca, a suburb of Buffalo, when Rocco Sapienza, 80, saw Lewinski carrying beers and approached him about his lack of a mask. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Man, 80, dies after allegedly being pushed in New York mask confrontation," 6 Oct. 2020 Prosecutors allege that Green and her boyfriend followed them outside before the shooting, and Green was captured on video surveillance leaving with a gun in her hand. Matt Sledge, NOLA.com, "New Orleans grand jury hands up murder charge in university student's killing," 2 Oct. 2020 Prosecutors allege former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and his allies passed the bill in exchange for $60 million in bribes. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Ohio Rep. Dave Greenspan of Westlake is unnamed FBI source in House Bill 6 corruption probe: The Wake Up for Friday, Sept. 25, 2020," 25 Sep. 2020 His father is retired from China People's Liberation Army and is a member of the Chinese Communist Party, prosecutors allege. Greg Norman, Fox News, "China calls allegations of NYPD cop acting as a spy 'pure fabrication'," 22 Sep. 2020 Prosecutors allege that since 2018, Angwang has maintained a relationship with at least two Chinese officials stationed at the consulate in New York. Sonia Moghe, CNN, "NYPD officer accused of acting as an illegal agent of the Chinese government," 21 Sep. 2020 Prosecutors allege that on October 29, 2017, Howerton forcefully escorted Cayley from the Mala Luna Music festival to his car. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Accident or homicide? Debate lingers over cause of Texas cheerleader's fatal injuries," 19 Sep. 2020 Federal prosecutors allege former EBay employees James Baugh and David Harville led the elaborate campaign. Spencer Soper, Bloomberg.com, "EBay Executive Linked to Alleged Cyberstalk Is Kids Club CEO," 10 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'allege.' 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 allege

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for allege

Middle English alleggen to submit in evidence or as justification, adduce, from Anglo-French aleger, allegger, probably in part modification of Medieval Latin allegare, from Latin, to send as a representative, adduce in support of a plea (from ad- + legare to depute), in part from Anglo-French aleger to lighten, free, exculpate, from Late Latin alleviare to relieve — more at legate, alleviate

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Time Traveler for allege

Time Traveler

The first known use of allege was in the 14th century

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Statistics for allege

Last Updated

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Allege.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/allege. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for allege

allege

verb
How to pronounce allege (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of allege

: to state without definite proof that someone has done something wrong or illegal

allege

verb
al·​lege | \ ə-ˈlej How to pronounce allege (audio) \
alleged; alleging

Kids Definition of allege

: to state as fact but without proof
al·​lege | \ ə-ˈlej How to pronounce allege (audio) \
alleged; alleging

Legal Definition of allege

1 : to state without proof or before proving
2 : to state (as a fact) in a pleading : aver

History and Etymology for allege

Old French alegier to alleviate, free, confused with Old French alleguer to allege, from Medieval Latin allegare — see allegata

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