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[verb uh-lahy; noun al-ahy, uh-lahy]
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verb (used with object), al·lied, al·ly·ing.
  1. to unite formally, as by treaty, league, marriage, or the like (usually followed by with or to): Russia allied itself to France.
  2. to associate or connect by some mutual relationship, as resemblance or friendship.
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verb (used without object), al·lied, al·ly·ing.
  1. to enter into an alliance; join; unite.
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noun, plural al·lies.
  1. a person, group, or nation that is associated with another or others for some common cause or purpose: Canada and the United States were allies in World War II.
  2. Biology. a plant, animal, or other organism bearing an evolutionary relationship to another, often as a member of the same family: The squash is an ally of the watermelon.
  3. a person who associates or cooperates with another; supporter.
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Origin of ally

1250–1300; Middle English alien < Anglo-French al(l)ier, aillaier, Old French alier < Latin alligāre to bind to. See alloy
Related formsal·li·a·ble, adjectivepre·al·ly, noun, plural pre·al·lies.pre·al·ly, verb, pre·al·lied, pre·al·ly·ing.
Can be confusedallay alley alloy ally (see synonym study at allay)

Synonyms for ally

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Antonyms for ally


  1. an adverbial suffix attached to certain adjectives with stems in -ic that have no forms ending in -ical: terrifically.
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Origin of -ally

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ally

colleague, partner, friend, associate, helper, accessory, coadjutor, confederate, collaborator, accomplice, co-worker

Examples from the Web for ally

Contemporary Examples of ally

Historical Examples of ally

British Dictionary definitions for ally


verb (əˈlaɪ) -lies, -lying or -lied (usually foll by to or with)
  1. to unite or be united, esp formally, as by treaty, confederation, or marriage
  2. (tr; usually passive) to connect or be related, as through being similar or compatible
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noun (ˈælaɪ, əˈlaɪ) plural -lies
  1. a country, person, or group allied with another
  2. a plant, animal, substance, etc, closely related to another in characteristics or form
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Word Origin for ally

C14: from Old French alier to join, from Latin alligāre to bind to, from ligāre to bind
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 ally


late 13c., "to join in marriage," from Old French alier "combine, unite," from a differentiated stem of aliier (from Latin alligare "bind to;" see alloy). Meaning "to form an alliance, join, associate" is late 14c. Related: allied; allying.

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late 14c., "relative, kinsman," from ally (v.); mid-15c. in the sense of "one united with another by treaty or league."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper