alley

1
[ al-ee ]
/ ˈæl i /

noun, plural al·leys.

a passage, as through a continuous row of houses, permitting access from the street to backyards, garages, etc.
a narrow back street.
a walk, as in a garden, enclosed with hedges or shrubbery.
Bowling.
  1. a long, narrow, wooden lane or floor along which the ball is rolled.
  2. (often plural) a building for bowling.
  3. bowling green.
Tennis. the space on each side of a tennis court between the doubles sideline and the service or singles sideline.
Rare. an aisle.

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Question 1 of 9
“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

Idioms for alley

    up / down one's alley, Informal. in keeping with or satisfying one's abilities, interests, or tastes: If you like science fiction, this book will be right up your alley.

Origin of alley

1
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English al(e)y, from Middle French alee “walk, passage,” derivative of feminine of ale, past participle of aler “to walk” (French aller), probably from unattested Vulgar Latin allārī, regularized from allātus, the suppletive past participle of afferre “to bring” (passive afferrī “to be moved, conveyed, to betake oneself”); French aller often allegedly from Latin ambulāre “to walk” (see amble), but this offers grave phonetic problems, since the m and b would not normally be lost

synonym study for alley

2. See street.

Definition for alley (2 of 2)

alley2
[ al-ee ]
/ ˈæl i /

noun, plural al·leys.Chiefly Northeastern U.S.

a choice, large playing marble.

Origin of alley

2
1710–20; probably al(abaster) + -y2, spelling to conform with alley1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for alley

British Dictionary definitions for alley (1 of 2)

alley1
/ (ˈælɪ) /

noun

a narrow lane or passage, esp one between or behind buildings
tennis, mainly US the space between the singles and doubles sidelines
a walk in a park or garden, esp one lined with trees or bushes
up one's alley or down one's alley See street (def. 10)

Word Origin for alley

C14: from Old French alee, from aler to go, ultimately from Latin ambulāre to walk

British Dictionary definitions for alley (2 of 2)

alley2
/ (ˈælɪ) /

noun

a large playing marble

Word Origin for alley

C18: shortened and changed from alabaster
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

Idioms and Phrases with alley

alley

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.