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

Originally titled, The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister, these book will allege that Meghan always wanted to become royalty. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Everything We Know About Meghan Markle's Family," 4 Mar. 2019 One Twitter user alleged that Khloé and Tristan's cheating drama was fake because the mother of one stepped out for a public event the next day. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Tristan Thompson and Jordyn Woods Cheating Allegations, Explained," 22 Feb. 2019 Some think that Kylie may even be looking at Jordyn in a whole new light after all this alleged news went public... Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "These Crazy Tristan Thompson/Jordyn Woods Cheating Scandal Memes Are Exploding on Twitter," 22 Feb. 2019 People have taken to Twitter to express their concern with Goop heading to another platform, alleging that the brand reports pseudoscience. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "Everything We Know So Far About Gwyneth Paltrow’s 'Goop' Series On Netflix," 6 Feb. 2019 Both worked for Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company and are alleged to have acted at the direction of the Chinese Ministry of State Security’s Tianjin State Security Bureau. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "US and allies: New hacks mean China broke 2015 economic espionage pact," 20 Dec. 2018 Ford alleges that Kavanaugh assaulted her during a house party in high school in the 1980s. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Tentative agreement reached for Kavanaugh-Ford hearing on Thursday, source says," 2 Oct. 2018 All the while, Kavanaugh’s friend was watching, Ford alleges. Samantha Schmidt, The Seattle Times, "Kavanaugh’s accuser waited decades to tell her story. Teenagers of the 1980s aren’t surprised.," 18 Sep. 2018 More than 300 women and girls, including former Olympic gymnasts, have sued USA Gymnastics, alleging the group failed to protect them from Nassar’s abuse. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "Gymnastics Scandal’s Surprise Aftermath: More Gymnasts," 24 Jan. 2019

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

13 Mar 2019

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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 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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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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