- 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 allaying
What they heard there, would increase their fear, instead of allaying it.History of Civilization in England, Vol. 3 of 3
Henry Thomas Buckle
Was there then any means of allaying these billows, of calming this tumultuous sea?In Search of the Castaways
The surest method of allaying a storm is to throw a prophet overboard.Bible Romances
George W. Foote
Benzoic acid has been found of service in allaying the irritation.Cooley's Practical Receipts, Volume II
Instead of allaying the eagerness of the Emir, the words excited it the more.The Prince of India, Volume I
- to relieve (pain, grief, etc) or be relieved
- (tr) to reduce (fear, anger, etc)
Word Origin and History for allaying
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.