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.

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.
Related formsal·lege·a·ble, adjectiveal·leg·er, nounmis·al·lege, verb (used with object), mis·al·leged, mis·al·leg·ing.pre·al·lege, verb (used with object), pre·al·leged, pre·al·leg··al·lege, verb (used with object), re·al·leged, re·al·leg·ing.
Can be confusedaccuse allege charge

Synonyms for allege

Synonym study

1. See maintain.

Antonyms for allege

2. deny. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for alleges

Contemporary Examples of alleges

Historical Examples of alleges

  • "You have confessed to the truth of what she alleges," said my father.

  • He died unmarried, though Lady Cowper alleges “he has eight Wives.”


    George Borrow

  • Morabin says that there is no proof of this, and alleges that Brutus did it for stage effect.

    The Life of Cicero

    Anthony Trollope

  • Even Mr. Cunningham alleges this to be the case, but I cannot at all agree with him.

    At Home with the Patagonians

    George Chaworth Musters

  • Pagi also alleges that Virgil was the fifth Bishop of Salzburg.

British Dictionary definitions for alleges


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

Word Origin and History for alleges



c.1300. It has the form of one French verb and the meaning of another. The form is Anglo-French aleger, Old French eslegier "to clear at law," from Latin ex- "out of" (see ex-) and litigare "bring suit" (see litigate); however eslegier meant "acquit, clear of charges in a lawsuit." It somehow acquired the meaning of French alléguer, from Latin allegare "send for, bring forth, name, produce in evidence," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + legare "to depute, send" (see legate). Related: Alleged; alleging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper