AskDefine | Define allay

Dictionary Definition



1 lessen the intensity of or calm; "The news eased my conscience"; "still the fears" [syn: still, relieve, ease]
2 satisfy (thirst); "The cold water quenched his thirst" [syn: quench, slake, assuage]

User Contributed Dictionary



Old English alecgan, from , corresponding to a- + lecgan. Cognate with German erlegen. In the word was identical to forms of allege and alloy, leading to much overlapping of senses.



  1. To make quiet or put at rest; to pacify or appease; to quell; to calm.
    to allay popular excitement
    to allay the tumult of the passions
  2. To alleviate; to abate; to mitigate.
    to allay the severity of affliction or the bitterness of adversity


He had to pretend to be drunk in order to allay the suspicions which might have been aroused by his appearance at the gate. —Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in A Study in Scarlet


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abate, alleviate, anesthetize, appease, assuage, attemper, balm, bank the fire, benumb, blunt, calm, chasten, cloy, compose, conciliate, constrain, control, cool, cram, cushion, damp, dampen, de-emphasize, deaden, deaden the pain, defuse, deliver, diminish, disburden, disembarrass, disencumber, downplay, dulcify, dull, ease, ease matters, engorge, extenuate, feast, feed, fill, fill up, foment, free, give relief, glut, gorge, gratify, jade, keep within bounds, lay, lay the dust, lenify, lessen, lighten, lull, mitigate, moderate, modulate, mollify, numb, obtund, overdose, overfeed, overfill, overgorge, oversaturate, overstuff, pacify, pad, pall, palliate, placate, play down, poultice, pour balm into, pour balm on, pour oil on, propitiate, quench, quiet, quieten, reduce, reduce the temperature, regale, release, relieve, restrain, salve, sate, satiate, satisfy, saturate, settle, slacken, slake, slow down, smooth, smooth down, smooth over, smother, sober, sober down, soften, soothe, stifle, still, stuff, stupe, subdue, supersaturate, suppress, surfeit, tame, temper, tone down, tranquilize, tune down, underplay, weaken
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