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

Mueller did not allege that Trump campaign associates were involved in the hacking effort, that Americans were knowingly in touch with Russian intelligence officers or that any vote tallies were altered by hacking. CBS News, "Trump responds to Russian hacking indictment by blaming Obama administration," 14 July 2018 The indictment alleges Russians hacked into Democrats' emails for months, and throughout the campaign released those documents publicly or shared them with people - including, the indictment said, a candidate for Congress. Amber Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "6 questions about the indictment of 12 Russians for hacking," 13 July 2018 The court filings allege that Russian hackers targeted more than 300 officials in the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign with spearphishing attempts to access their email accounts. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Truth Without Consequences," 13 July 2018 Cordon, who had an arrest warrant with Atlanta Police for failure to appear in court, had left by the time officers arrived, the report alleges. PEOPLE.com, "LeSean McCoy's Ex Told 911 Operator NFL Player Set Up Violent Robbery: 'My Face Is Demolished'," 12 July 2018 McLemore alleges Hill cornered her in another area of the bar and began rubbing her back. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "State account auto-tweets link to Attorney General Curtis Hill statement criticizing accuser," 12 July 2018 Authorities allege Buchanan purposely waited before alerting the mother and police, the news station said. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "Dad smothered screaming infant daughter — then tried to shock her back to life, Ark. police say," 12 July 2018 The plaintiff alleges that Monsanto has known and suppressed information that its herbicide is carcinogenic. Lucas Laursen, Fortune, "Why Monsanto Could Soon Get Hit With a Flood of Cancer-Related Lawsuits," 11 July 2018 Prosecutors allege that all of the defendants had special training on dust regulations. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky coal mine officials charged with cheating on key safety tests," 11 July 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

6 Nov 2018

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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