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

The decision increases retaliation risks for whistleblowers who only report alleged wrongdoing to the company and not the SEC, said Sean McKessy, who was chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower between 2011 and 2016. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, "SEC Policy Incentivizing Whistleblowers Weakened by Ruling, Lawyers Say," 31 May 2019 Each suit alleged that the law violated the right of individuals to possess and carry weapons, which the Supreme Court had found to be protected by the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller. 2017: H.J. Res. Victoria Rodriguez, Seventeen, "A Timeline of the Second Amendment and Gun Control in the U.S.," 1 May 2019 According to Richard Eden for The Daily Mail, a royal source alleges that Kate has hired a new fashion advisor to keep her style sharp. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Has Hired a Former Fashion Editor to Revamp Her Wardrobe," 30 Mar. 2019 The other process alleged by the feds involved bribing coaches and officials at USC, Georgetown, Yale, and other top notch schools to save a spot among the athletic recruits for Singer’s clients. Tyler Kingkade, Town & Country, "How the College Admissions Scandal Is Different From the Other Ways Rich Parents Help Their Kids Get Into School," 13 Mar. 2019 Further Reading Report: Facebook let major tech firms access private messages, friends lists The attorney general of the District of Columbia has sued (PDF) Facebook, alleging violations of local consumer protection laws. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "DC sues Facebook over Cambridge Analytica scandal," 19 Dec. 2018 Not so great was that soon after, the design was subject of lawsuits alleging the keyboard was defective: Customers complained that the keys jammed easily, requiring an expensive trip to an Apple Store. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "So, About That Retina Macbook Air Keyboard," 30 Oct. 2018 Some—including Barry herself—have alleged that Donald Trump helped her secure the nomination. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Maryanne Trump Barry and Donald Trump Seem to Lead Different Lives—But Their Stories Are Intertwined," 16 Apr. 2019 Advertising Tensions have mounted all week as pro-government media and officials alleged that the opposition wanted to storm state institutions and take power by force. Dusan Stojanovic, The Seattle Times, "Thousands rally in Serbia against populist leader Vucic," 14 Apr. 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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Last Updated

5 Jun 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 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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