[verb uh-lahy; noun al-ahy, uh-lahy]
See more synonyms for ally on
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.
verb (used without object), al·lied, al·ly·ing.
  1. to enter into an alliance; join; unite.
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.

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

Examples from the Web for allying

Contemporary Examples of allying

  • News stories like this one at Vox expressed the consensus view that we were now allying with Assad.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Is Obama Done Playing Footsie With Assad?

    Michael Tomasky

    November 17, 2014

  • Allying themselves with the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, some Lebanese Christians are standing their ground against ISIS.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Lebanese Christians Gun Up Against ISIS

    Susannah George

    November 10, 2014

  • By allying himself with Iran hawks, Obama is getting the Iran-Syria dynamic exactly wrong.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Iran, Assad, and Obama’s Quagmire

    Peter Beinart

    September 9, 2013

  • On the other hand, it has restored drooping public support in allied countries for the idea of allying with Washington.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama as Hardheaded Liberal

    Michael Fullilove, Steven Casey

    August 27, 2011

Historical Examples of allying

British Dictionary definitions for allying


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
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

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 allying



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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper