Origin of allege
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MORE ABOUT ALLEGE
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.
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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How is allege used in real life?
Allege is most commonly used in journalism in reports about crimes.
This morning a black mother and her son who live in Creve Coeur filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Des Peres alleging police brutality over an incident at Sam’s Club on March 23. There is video of the event.
— Tony Messenger (@tonymess) May 18, 2020
"The charges allege that as many as 90 guns purchased through https://t.co/t25KAqmKZi wound up on the streets of Chicago, including one that was recovered during an armed carjacking and others found during narcotics and gang investigations." https://t.co/fXLUH0md82
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 15, 2018
Non-AJ defendants have repeatedly alleged torture in custody. Judge tells court that medical examinations show no signs of torture. #AJtrial
— Louisa Loveluck (@leloveluck) March 31, 2014
Try using allege!
Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used to describe something that is alleged to have happened?
How to use allege in a sentence
Multiple attorneys have since come forward alleging that their clients had been subjected to hysterectomies and other gynecological procedures.A woman in ICE detention says her fallopian tube was removed without her consent|Nicole Narea|September 17, 2020|Vox
In August 2019, the environmental groups filed suit against Bluestone, alleging excess discharges of selenium, which can be toxic to fish and other aquatic life.This Billionaire Governor’s Coal Company Might Get a Big Break From His Own Regulators|by Ken Ward Jr.|September 17, 2020|ProPublica
In the lawsuit against the city, Taylor’s family alleged that the 26-year-old was not given any medical attention and was left to die in the apartment.The policing reforms in the Breonna Taylor settlement, explained|Fabiola Cineas|September 17, 2020|Vox
The push to avoid simulator training led to multiple poor decisions by Boeing, the committee alleged.Boeing crashes were the “horrific culmination” of multiple mistakes, House report says|kdunn6|September 16, 2020|Fortune
They seek to cast doubt on the integrity of the electoral process, asserting that Democrats are using mail balloting to steal the election — “thwarting the will of the American people,” they alleged.Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign likened to a ‘troll farm,’ prompting rebuke by Facebook and Twitter|Isaac Stanley-Becker|September 15, 2020|Washington Post
They also allege their children are not in fact siblings, despite having been told they were.
Was it, as some former employees allege, that the bosses bit off more than they could chew?
Police allege the man was in a close relationship with Kakehi and they are investigating the details of his passing.
The papers allege that Hayden escorted J.W. down a number of hallways.
Army officials also allege that he worked for ethnic rebels as a “communications captain.”Hope and Change? Burma Kills a Journalist Before Obama Arrives|Joshua Carroll|November 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The English authorities expressly allege a deliberate purpose on Bruce's part to rid himself of his rival.
It was neither age nor sickness, as the chroniclers allege, that prevented King Robert from leading the Weardale foray.
If I am a forger or a friend of forgers, as you allege me to be, then I am unworthy to have served in the uniform of France.The Doctor of Pimlico|William Le Queux
The emir would bring 500 witnesses to-morrow to establish any crime he was pleased to allege.Fox's Book of Martyrs|John Foxe
The mere assertion of what he meant to allege must at least delay this hateful marriage.Tristram of Blent|Anthony Hope