- to put (fear, doubt, suspicion, anger, etc.) to rest; calm; quiet.
- to lessen or relieve; mitigate; alleviate: to allay pain.
Origin of allay
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for allay
Experts [predict] that over a million people in the region need food aid to allay shortages.Liberia’s Ebola Famine
Abby Haglage, Nina Strochlic
November 13, 2014
The report calls on the Palestinians to recognize that Israeli security concerns are legitimate and to take steps to allay these.Official Dutch Report Calls for Break with Uncritical Approach to Israel
June 26, 2013
Friday morning, however, we got two pieces of data that should allay those concerns, at least for now.Data Show U.S. Industry Shrugs off Sandy Effects
December 14, 2012
The fact that the government employee in question is a McKinsey alumnus does not allay any of my concerns.The Green Stimulus' Red Ink
December 3, 2012
Your announcement that you will be hosting Avigdor Lieberman in London does nothing to allay our concerns.No Draft, And No Sex
May 22, 2012
How calculated is this precedure to allay animosities and unite hearts!Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II
Francis Augustus Cox
She will allay your intoxication by gentle degrees, and send you sober home.Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
Still, Greta's nervousness increased; no reason, no sophistry could allay it.A Son of Hagar</p>
Sir Hall Caine
There was alarm on her face, which La Boulaye now set himself to allay.The Trampling of the Lilies
When it came, however, it was not calculated to allay the curiosity of his questioner.The Strollers
Frederic S. Isham
- to relieve (pain, grief, etc) or be relieved
- (tr) to reduce (fear, anger, etc)
Word Origin and History for allay
Old English alecgan "to put down, remit, give up," a Germanic compound (cf. Gothic uslagjan, Old High German irleccan, German erlegen), from a- "down, aside" + lecgan "to lay" (see lay).
Early Middle English pronunciations of -y- and -g- were not always distinct, and the word was confused in Middle English with various senses of Romanic-derived alloy and allege, especially the latter in an obsolete sense of "to lighten," from Latin ad- "to" + levis (see lever).
Amid the overlapping of meanings that thus arose, there was developed a perplexing network of uses of allay and allege, that belong entirely to no one of the original vbs., but combine the senses of two or more of them. [OED]
The double -l- is 17c., a mistaken Latinism. Related: Allayed; allaying.