- a long, narrow, wooden lane or floor along which the ball is rolled.
- (often plural) a building for bowling.
- bowling green.
Idioms about alley
Origin of alley1
synonym study for alley
Words nearby alley
Other definitions for alley (2 of 2)
What is an alley?
An alley is a narrow passage between buildings or other structures. The word alleyway means the same thing.
Alley can also refer to a narrow path or passage behind a row of houses, such as one that allows access to garages and back yards.
An alley can also be a narrow street or lane—the word alley might even be used in the name of such a street, as in Elfreth’s Alley. All of these senses of alley refer to passages that are outside—you wouldn’t normally call a narrow passage an alley if it is indoors.
The term bowling alley refers to a building with lanes for bowling—which can also be called alleys.
The proper plural of alley is alleys.
Example: We took a shortcut through the narrow alley between the shops.
Where does alley come from?
The first records of the word alley come from the 1300s. It comes from the Middle French alee, meaning “walk” or “passage,” from verb aler, “to walk.”
In big cities, alleys between buildings are often very narrow—wide enough to walk down but not drive. These kinds of alleys are often depicted as dark, dangerous, or mysterious places—places where dangerous people might be lurking. In reality, they’re usually just places where businesses deposit their garbage in dumpsters.
A blind alley is a road or alley with a dead end (or a figurative dead end). An alley cat is a stray cat so-named probably because they often take shelter in alleys. If something is said to be up one’s alley, it means it is something that’s suited to their tastes or interests. The phrase probably uses one’s alley as a way of referring to one’s area of interest.
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What are some other forms related to alley?
- alleys (plural)
What are some synonyms for alley?
What are some words that share a root or word element with alley?
What are some words that often get used in discussing alley?
How is alley used in real life?
Alley is most commonly used to refer to the narrow passage between buildings or to the lane behind a row of houses.
Very well maintained back alley…I spotted only one little sticker😀 pic.twitter.com/P8s3yhaSqL
— Alex Lund, Author (@AlexLundAuthor) December 3, 2020
This dude is having such a slow night he’s serenading two dogs in the alley behind his restaurant pic.twitter.com/2YKIeyGIEw
— Norrin Hester (@norrinhester) November 22, 2020
Before we got the curbside receptacles, we had to take our trash to the dumpster in the alley behind the house 😭 pic.twitter.com/XLYlZwNkbP
— Aɳαʝαι Sυɱɱҽɾʂ (@Stfu_Anajai) December 5, 2020
Try using alley!
Is alley used correctly in the following sentence?
Please pull the car around back and park in the alley.
How to use alley in a sentence
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince — “A Nightmare On My Street”For those VHS horror movie lovers, this one is right up your alley.Trick Or Treat: An All Hallows’ Eve Playlist For You Guys And Ghouls|cmurray|October 30, 2020|Essence.com
Once the vehicle is in the alley, the emergency lights go off again, but the cruiser keeps going, and Hylton is struck a few seconds laterwhen he darts out onto Kennedy Street between parked vehicles.Police video shows fatal crash as D.C. officers attempt to stop moped driver|Peter Hermann, Justin Jouvenal, Julie Zauzmer|October 30, 2020|Washington Post
They said he drove out of an alley and collided with another vehicle.Protesters demonstrate outside D.C. police station for second night after Karon Hylton’s death|Clarence Williams, Samantha Schmidt, Tom Jackman|October 29, 2020|Washington Post
Hylton died when he collided with a vehicle after pulling out of an alley, police said.Police may have pursued moped before fatal crash, officials say|Peter Hermann, Justin Jouvenal, Clarence Williams|October 29, 2020|Washington Post
During one of our first walks, we came across an alley that we’d never noticed before.
The picture you took of the boy lying in the alley also seemed to strike a chord.
The meeting place of human rights and criminal justice in Iran is like a dark and frightening alley.
The alley cat and her kittens would have mugged him already.Up To a Point: Robber Barons Make Way For Robber Nerds|P. J. O’Rourke|August 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He said his cousin had been found dead in an alley and he had to rush home.The Stacks: How Leonard Chess Helped Make Muddy Waters|Alex Belth|August 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It had rained while we were inside and the air in the alley smelled almost fresh.Stanley Booth on the Life and Hard Times of Blues Genius Furry Lewis|Stanley Booth|June 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Truly it was a most enjoyable season and experience, but there is no joy without its alley here below—not even at the North Pole!The Giant of the North|R.M. Ballantyne
He turned into an alley, down which, nautically speaking, he rolled into a shabby little court.The Garret and the Garden|R.M. Ballantyne
I turned right into a narrow street, went along it about fifty yards, and paused where it was crossed by a still narrower alley.
From the set of his shoulders, it seemed that he might be just as glad the alley was dim; but he simply trailed along behind.
I cannot put my own case to the Admiralty although the machines are wanted for overland tactics—a fatal blind alley.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I|Ian Hamilton
British Dictionary definitions for alley (1 of 2)
Word Origin for alley
British Dictionary definitions for alley (2 of 2)
Word Origin for alley
Other Idioms and Phrases with alley
In addition to the idiom beginning with alley
- alley cat
- blind alley
- right up one's alley