allege

verb
al·​lege | \ ə-ˈlej \
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

And in September, the American Civil Liberties Union alleged that Facebook let employers target job ads just to men. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Facebook’s very bad year, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 The complaints allege copyright infringement and violations of the right of publicity — the personal rights that govern how an individual can control and profit off the use of their own likeness, name, and other identifiable traits. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite keeps stealing dances — and no one knows if it’s illegal," 20 Dec. 2018 And a lawsuit filed earlier this year alleged that Latino youths at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Virginia were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells. Garance Burke, The Seattle Times, "AP Investigation: Migrant kids held in mass shelters," 19 Dec. 2018 Just this month, the attorney general of Washington, DC, filed suit against Facebook alleging the scandal had resulted from lax privacy standards. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Facebook," 26 Dec. 2018 The complaints range from being barred from promotions, forced to scrub the factory floors, and allege that supervisors have directed racial slurs at employees. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Black Tesla factory workers describe racism and discrimination, NYT reports," 30 Nov. 2018 Elections officials and Democrats have been careful not to allege any specific wrongdoing so far. Dylan Scott, Vox, "There’s something very weird going on with this North Carolina House election," 30 Nov. 2018 The shareholder lawsuit cites accounts from several former employees and alleges the accounting fueled a yearslong fraud that inflated GE’s results. David Benoit, WSJ, "In GE Probe, Ex-Staffers Say Insurance Risks Were Ignored," 30 Nov. 2018 Frank had alleged the firm misstated its profits and he was owed millions. Greg Norman | Fox News, Fox News, "Michael Avenatti ordered by judge to hand over $4.85 million in back pay to attorney at his former law firm," 23 Oct. 2018

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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Statistics for allege

Last Updated

2 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for allege

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

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More Definitions for allege

allege

verb

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 \
alleged; alleging

Kids Definition of allege

: to state as fact but without proof
al·​lege | \ ə-ˈlej \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on allege

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with allege

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for allege

Spanish Central: Translation of allege

Nglish: Translation of allege for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of allege for Arabic Speakers

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