To alleviate or reduce something, such as pain, fear, or worry; to calm or pacify someone or something.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Calm, relieve, soothe, ease, alleviate, mitigate, assuage, mollify, pacify, reduce.


Aggravate, intensify, exacerbate, heighten, increase, magnify, augment, provoke.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun allayer, allayers
Verb allays, allaying, allay, allayed
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The soothing music helped allay the anxiety of the patients waiting for their medical test results.

  • The politician gave a speech to allay the public’s concerns about the economic downturn and assure them of government support.

  • The manager held a meeting to address the concerns of the employees and allay their fears about the company’s restructuring.

  • The mother’s comforting words and gentle touch helped to allay her child’s fears after a nightmare.


“Allay” is a versatile verb that is commonly used to describe the act of reducing or calming something. It is often used in the context of emotions, such as fear, anxiety, or worry, but can also refer to physical sensations, such as pain or discomfort.

The word “allay” is derived from the Old English word “alegian,” meaning to alleviate or lessen. The suffix “-lay” is often used in other words to indicate a similar sense of reducing or calming, such as in the words “allay,” “delay,” and “relay.”

The prefix “al-” is a common variation of “allay,” and it is often used to indicate a sense of completeness or totality. For example, the word “alleviate” is a variation of “allay” that means to reduce or alleviate completely. Similarly, the word “alliance” comes from “allay” and refers to a close association or bond between people or groups that have come together to allay common fears or worries.

It is important to note that “allay” is often used in a positive sense, to describe the act of reducing something negative. Its antonyms, on the other hand, are generally negative in nature, such as “aggravate” or “provoke.” Overall, “allay” is a useful word that can be used in a variety of contexts to describe the act of reducing or calming something, and it is a great addition to any writer’s vocabulary.