to put (fear, doubt, suspicion, anger, etc.) to rest; calm; quiet.
to lessen or relieve; mitigate; alleviate:
to allay pain.
Contemporary Examples

Some worried Petraeus might run in 2012 for president, a fear he worked to allay.
Did the White House Snub Petraeus? John Barry September 3, 2011

When the imam returned Thursday, he encountered a man who was visibly afraid, and Musri didn’t seek to allay his fears.
Terry Jones: Inside the Koran Burner’s Church Leon Dische Becker September 10, 2010

The fact that the government employee in question is a McKinsey alumnus does not allay any of my concerns.
The Green Stimulus’ Red Ink David Frum December 2, 2012

He wanted to allay suspicion that the Watergate probe was being driven by such an obvious Nixon adversary—when in fact, it was.
How Kennedy Brought Down Nixon Chris Matthews September 12, 2009

The supposedly free market is addicted to the idea that government can and will allay its worries when necessary.
Will Stocks Dive Again? Randall Lane May 10, 2010

Historical Examples

Fomentations are chiefly employed to allay pain or irritation, or to promote suppuration or the healthy action of the parts.
Cooley’s Cyclopdia of Practical Receipts and Collateral Information in the Arts, Manufactures, Professions, and Trades…, Sixth Edition, Volume I Arnold Cooley

How calculated is this precedure to allay animosities and unite hearts!
Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II Francis Augustus Cox

This law, however, did not allay the demand for a more stringent restriction of immigration.
Our Foreigners Samuel P. Orth

When it came, however, it was not calculated to allay the curiosity of his questioner.
The Strollers Frederic S. Isham

But even the war and its result did not allay the bitter feeling.
The History of the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia S. J. (Silvanus Jackson) Quinn

to relieve (pain, grief, etc) or be relieved
(transitive) to reduce (fear, anger, etc)

Old English alecgan “to put down, remit, give up,” a Germanic compound (cf. Gothic uslagjan, Old High German irleccan, German erlegen), from a- “down, aside” + lecgan “to lay” (see lay).

Early Middle English pronunciations of -y- and -g- were not always distinct, and the word was confused in Middle English with various senses of Romanic-derived alloy and allege, especially the latter in an obsolete sense of “to lighten,” from Latin ad- “to” + levis (see lever).

Amid the overlapping of meanings that thus arose, there was developed a perplexing network of uses of allay and allege, that belong entirely to no one of the original vbs., but combine the senses of two or more of them. [OED]

The double -l- is 17c., a mistaken Latinism. Related: Allayed; allaying.


Read Also:

  • Allaying

    to put (fear, doubt, suspicion, anger, etc.) to rest; calm; quiet. to lessen or relieve; mitigate; alleviate: to allay pain. Historical Examples In colic from acute indigestion it is a very convenient means of quieting the child by allaying the pain. The Eugenic Marriage, Volume IV. (of IV.) Grant Hague What they heard there, would […]

  • Allecret

    a half suit of light plate armor.

  • Allegation

    the act of ; affirmation. an assertion made with little or no proof. an assertion made by a party in a legal proceeding, which the party then undertakes to prove. a statement offered as a plea, excuse, or justification. Contemporary Examples In its motion to dismiss, UMass denied this allegation, and Haidak refuted the school’s […]

  • Allege

    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. Contemporary Examples What the film does allege is that OBI may have […]

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