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 Human-rights groups allege that the National Militia’s public presence is expressly designed to discourage liberal protest and intimidate civil society, charges Mikhailenko denies. Aris Roussinos, Harpers Magazine, "The Armies of the Right," 5 Jan. 2021 Both allege that the Invest in Education ballot initiative is an unconstitutional tax hike. Cole Lauterbach, Washington Examiner, "Arizona’s Proposition 208 tax hike could be voided if new lawsuits succeed," 2 Dec. 2020 Federal investigators allege the roadside zoo run by the Lowes has potentially 100 to 200 animals on exhibit, including some protected by the Endangered Species Act, such as tigers, lions, a grizzly bear and ring-tailed lemurs. Clare Hymes, CBS News, "Feds sue "Tiger King Park" owners over "inadequate" care of endangered animals," 19 Nov. 2020 Investigators allege that the Steadman brothers and Adekunle, 19, helped plan and carry out the shooting, which happened in the 2000 block of Lebouef Street about 7:20 p.m. on May 11, 2020. Matt Sledge, NOLA.com, "Brothers charged with first-degree murder in Algiers triple shooting that left toddler dead," 11 Sep. 2020 Iranian officials allege that ASMLA’s leaders have received funding from Tehran’s Persian Gulf rivals, including Saudi Arabia, to destabilize Iran. Washington Post, "Turkey blames Iranian intelligence for elaborate plot to kidnap opponent in Istanbul," 13 Dec. 2020 Prosecutors allege Pacheco sprayed the 54-year-old inmate in the face even though the inmate was cooperating with the correctional officer’s orders. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, "Two former California prison guards charged in cover-up of inmate’s death in 2016," 19 Nov. 2020 Charges have been filed against a 19-year-old man who prosecutors allege purchased and supplied the gun used by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse in the fatal shootings of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. NBC News, "19-year-old charged with illegally supplying gun to Kyle Rittenhouse," 10 Nov. 2020 Williams reduced his tax liability by some $200,000 over that time, prosecutors allege. John Simerman, NOLA.com, "Jason Williams' law partner, Nicole Burdett, indicted separately, accused of fudging own taxes," 9 Dec. 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

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Allege.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/allege. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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