[ uh-lej ]
/ əˈlɛdʒ /
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See synonyms for: allege / alleged / alleging on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), al·leged, al·leg·ing.
to assert without proof.
to declare with positiveness; affirm; assert: to allege a fact.
to declare before a court or elsewhere, as if under oath.
to plead in support of; offer as a reason or excuse.
Archaic. to cite or quote in confirmation.
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Origin of allege

1275–1325; Middle English alleg(g)en, probably <Old French aleguer (<Medieval Latin, Latin allēgāre to adduce in support of a plea; see allegation), conflated with Anglo-French, Old French aleg(i)er to justify, free, literally, to lighten (<Late Latin alleviāre;see alleviate); homonymous Middle English v. alleg(g)en, with literal sense of Old French aleg(i)er, replaced by allay in 16th cent.

synonym study for allege

1. See maintain.



accuse, allege , charge
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does allege mean?

To allege is to make an accusation or claim, especially about a crime or wrongdoing. 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.

Forms of allege include the adjective alleged, the adverb allegedly, and the noun allegation (meaning an accusation or claim).

Allege is most commonly used in a legal context and in journalism in reports about crime or other wrongdoing before it has been proven or before someone has been convicted. Using the word alleged allows journalists to talk about allegations without seeming to presume guilt (and getting sued for libel).

Example: Investigators are alleging that Mr. Jones stole from the company over a period of 15 years.

Where does allege come from?

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

Allege is almost always used in a legal context. It’s typically used when making 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 allege to refer to claims about what has supposedly been done.

Allege is most often used to refer to an action done by a person, as in Police allege that the theft occurred overnight or My client alleges that the defendant attacked him. But like the word claim, it can also be used with things, such as documents, as in The lawsuit alleges a long history of abuse or The charges allege that the theft occurred overnight.

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What are some other forms related to allege?

What are some synonyms for allege?

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

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

How is allege used in real life?

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



Try using allege!

Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used to describe something that is alleged to have happened?

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

How to use allege in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for allege

/ (əˈlɛdʒ) /

verb (tr; may take a clause as object)
to declare in or as if in a court of law; state without or before proofhe alleged malpractice
to put forward (an argument or plea) for or against an accusation, claim, etc
archaic to cite or quote, as to confirm

Word Origin for allege

C14 aleggen, ultimately from Latin allēgāre to dispatch on a mission, from lēx law
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