Verb allay Definition and Examples



Definition as verb:


allay (third-person singular simple present allays, present participle allaying, simple past and past participle allayed)

  1. (transitive) To make quiet or put at rest; to pacify or appease; to quell; to calm.
  2. (transitive) To alleviate; to abate; to mitigate.
  3. (intransitive, obsolete) To subside, abate, become peaceful.
  4. (archaic) To mix (metals); to mix with a baser metal; to alloy; to deteriorate.

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

1. to relieve (pain, grief, etc) or be relieved

2. (transitive) to reduce (fear, anger, etc) Word OriginOld English ālecgan to put down, from lecgan to lay1Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollinsPublishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source
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.


Elisabeth stood at the piano which did nothing to allay his anxiety.

This policy did not allay the discontent of the Macedonian army, and when Alexander in the summer of 324 moved to the cooler region of Media, an actual mutiny of the Macedonians broke out on the way at Opis on the Tigris.

Abelard's remarkable compilation Sic et Non was not calculated to allay their suspicions.

At a very early period, however, efforts were made to allay the dissension.

His endeavours to allay ecclesiastical panic, and to promote liberality of spirit, frequently required no ordinary moral courage.

An excited controversy having arisen about the result of the balloting in the states of South Carolina, Florida, Oregon and Louisiana, the two parties in Congress in order to allay a crisis dangerous to public peace agreed to pass an act referring all contested election returns to an extraordinary commission, called the "Electoral Commission" (q.v.), which decided each contest by eight against seven votes in favour of the Republican candidates.

The treatment of strychnine poisoning is to immediately evacuate the stomach with a stomach-pump or emetic, chloroform being administered to allay the spasms. If the patient can swallow, draughts of water containing tannic acid may be given.

When in 734-733 B.C. Ahaz, king of Judah, alarmed at the preparations made against him by the Syro-Ephraimitish alliance, was inclined to seek aid from Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, the prophet Isaiah endeavoured to allay his fear by telling him that the danger would pass away, and as a sign from Yahweh that this should be so, any young woman who should within the year bear a son, might call his name Immanuel in token of the divine protection accorded to Judah.

There is no doubt that the spread of the practice is connected with the ban imposed in Mohammedan countries on the use of alcoholic beverages, and to some extent with the long religious fasts of the Buddhists, Hindus and Moslems, in which opium is used to allay hunger.

"What am I to say to him?" thought Prince Andrew, looking down on the old man's bald head shining in the sun and seeing by the expression on his face that the old man himself understood how untimely such questions were and only asked them to allay his grief.

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