Definition of alleged
OTHER WORDS FROM allegedun·al·leged, adjective
Words nearby alleged
MORE ABOUT ALLEGED
What does alleged mean?
Alleged is an adjective that’s used to describe things that have been claimed. It’s most often used to describe an action or situation, especially a wrongdoing or crime, that someone claims happened but that has not been confirmed or proven.
Alleged can also be used as the past tense of the verb allege, meaning to claim without proof or before proof is available. Such an accusation is called an allegation. The adverb form of alleged is allegedly.
As an adjective, alleged can be correctly pronounced either uh-LEJD or uh-LEJ-id. When it’s used as a verb, it’s always pronounced uh-LEJD.
Alleged 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).
Sometimes, alleged is used to mean doubtful or supposed in a way that’s intended to indicate skepticism about something, as in The alleged genius can’t even run a small company.
Example: The alleged crime took place when my client was half a state away.
Where does alleged come from?
The first records of the word alleged come from the 1400s. Its base word, 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 alleged comes from the root lēx-, which means “law” and forms the basis of words like legal.
Alleged 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 alleged to qualify descriptions about the supposed crime.
It’s often applied to actions or events, as in the alleged burglary or the alleged incident. It can also be applied to a person, as in the alleged burglar.
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How is alleged used in real life?
Alleged is most commonly used in journalism in reports about crimes.
This morning, we arrested NYPD Officer Errick Allen for the alleged murder of Christopher Curro last week on Long Island.
No one is above the law, and my office is committed to ensuring justice is served.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) May 21, 2020
This is the story of how Dennis Perry went to prison for two murders even some detectives believe he didn't commit – and how Erik Sparre, an alleged white supremacist who confessed to the crimes, escaped scrutiny for 35 years. I hope you'll read and share. https://t.co/eVqWSh2nPJ
— Joshua Sharpe (@JoshuaWSharpe) May 23, 2020
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) May 16, 2020
Try using alleged!
Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used to refer to something described as alleged?
How to use alleged in a sentence
In its campaign against Apple, SumOfUs cites the tech giant’s alleged role in helping Beijing censor and surveil its citizens.Apple introduces new human rights policy after criticism of censorship in China|Grady McGregor|September 4, 2020|Fortune
The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission had dismissed the claim against him, Barrios said, but actually the group just determined it was not something they could legally look into, because he was a volunteer at the time of the alleged event.
Months after a high-profile successful IPO on the New York Stock Exchange last year, the company faced allegations of fraud and was the subject of class-action lawsuits over “alleged misstatements and omissions” in its IPO filing documents.Jumia, Africa’s e-commerce leader, is paying out $5 million to settle class-action fraud lawsuits|Yomi Kazeem|August 12, 2020|Quartz
Attorney Coleen Cusack for weeks tried to access footage of Rich Brooks, 54, being ticketed last August for his alleged failure to comply with an MTS officer’s order, a charge Brooks said the video would help dispute.MTS Purged Body Camera Footage Before Man’s Attorney Could Access it|Lisa Halverstadt|July 21, 2020|Voice of San Diego
The rule changes arguably provide more due process protections for alleged perpetrators that many observers and some courts found were lacking in the past.Here’s How The New Title IX Regulations Will Affect Sexual Assault Cases on Campus|LGBTQ-Editor|May 7, 2020|No Straight News
Students deemed “responsible” for alleged sexual assaults on college campuses can face little or no consequence for their acts.
They waved down a pair of responding cops who followed the alleged cop killer into the subway.Alleged Cop Killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley Had a Death Wish|M.L. Nestel|December 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Many times, victims drop out of school, while their alleged attackers graduate.
Over the years, several MPs have alleged cover-ups or suggested that investigations were shut down by senior security officials.Victim: I Watched British MPs Rape and Murder Young Boys|Nico Hines|December 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The military commission this week was to focus on the alleged FBI infiltration of one of the defense teams.Prosecutors Have No Idea When 9/11 Mastermind’s Trial Will Start|Tim Mak|December 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Much glamour has been cast upon the names of Solomon and David by their alleged writings.
The order of the Queen was alleged, and the authority of the Governor was interposed.
My point is not that these heroes were bad men, but that, in a book alleged to be the word of God, they are treated as heroes.
The alleged fact of the Resurrection is of immense importance to hundreds of millions of people.
The fact alleged, then, is miraculous and important, and the evidence in proof of such a fact should be overwhelmingly strong.