[ al-i-gey-shuhn ]
/ ˌæl ɪˈgeɪ ʃən /
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See synonyms for: allegation / allegations on Thesaurus.com

the act of alleging; affirmation.
an assertion made with little or no proof.
an assertion made by a party in a legal proceeding, which the party then undertakes to prove.
a statement offered as a plea, excuse, or justification.
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Origin of allegation

1375–1425; late Middle English <Latin allēgātiōn- (stem of allēgātiō), equivalent to allēgāt(us), past participle of allēgāre to adduce in support of a plea (al-al- + -lēgāre, derivative of lēx law; see legal) + -iōn--ion


mis·al·le·ga·tion, nounnon·al·le·ga·tion, nounpre·al·le·ga·tion, nounre·al·le·ga·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does allegation mean?

An allegation is an accusation or claim that something wrong has been done, especially a crime. The word often implies that the thing claimed has not been confirmed or proven or that the claim has been made without proof or before proof is available.

Allegation is the noun form of the verb allege, meaning to claim without proof or before proof is available. Related forms include the adjective alleged and the adverb allegedly.

The word allegation is most commonly used in a legal context, especially in journalism in reports about a person who has been accused of a crime or other wrongdoing but who has not been convicted. Using the word allegation allows journalists to talk about accusations without seeming to presume guilt (and getting sued for libel).

Example: We will prove that the allegations against my client are absolutely baseless.

Where does allegation come from?

The first records of the word allegation come from around 1400. The verb allege is recorded around 1300 and ultimately comes from the Latin verb allēgāre, meaning “to dispatch on a mission” or “bring forward as evidence.” The leg part of allege and allegation comes from the root lēx-, which means “law” and forms the basis of words like legal.

Allegation is almost always used in a legal context. It’s typically used to refer to an accusation that has yet to be proved in a court of law. In many jurisdictions, the law states that a person is innocent until proven guilty. That means that if someone is accused of committing a crime—even if the whole thing was caught on video—they’re not considered guilty until they’re convicted by a jury. Until that happens, journalists use the word allegation to talk about what has been accused.

People who deny allegations against themselves often call them baseless—meaning they’re made up (which is itself an allegation).

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What are some other forms related to allege?

What are some synonyms for allegation?

What are some words that share a root or word element with allegation

What are some words that often get used in discussing allegation?

How is allegation used in real life?

Allegation is most commonly used in journalism in reports about crimes.



Try using allegation!

Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used to describe the action about which an allegation was made?

A. purported
B. definite
C. possible
D. claimed

How to use allegation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for allegation

/ (ˌælɪˈɡeɪʃən) /

the act of alleging
an unproved statement or assertion, esp one in an accusation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012