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[al-ahyz, uh-lahyz] /ˈæl aɪz, əˈlaɪz/
plural of ally.
(initial capital letter) (in World War I) the powers of the Triple Entente (Great Britain, France, Russia), with the nations allied with them (Belgium, Serbia, Japan, Italy, etc., not including the United States), or, loosely, with all the nations (including the United States) allied or associated with them as opposed to the Central Powers.
(initial capital letter) the 26 nations that fought against the Axis in World War II and, with subsequent additions, signed the charter of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945.
(initial capital letter) the member nations of NATO.


[verb uh-lahy; noun al-ahy, uh-lahy] /verb əˈlaɪ; noun ˈæl aɪ, əˈlaɪ/
verb (used with object), allied, allying.
to unite formally, as by treaty, league, marriage, or the like (usually followed by with or to):
Russia allied itself to France.
to associate or connect by some mutual relationship, as resemblance or friendship.
verb (used without object), allied, allying.
to enter into an alliance; join; unite.
noun, plural allies.
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.
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.
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 forms
alliable, adjective
preally, noun, plural preallies.
preally, verb, preallied, preallying.
Can be confused
allay, alley, alloy, ally (see synonym study at allay)
1. unify, join, combine, wed. 4. partner, confederate. 6. friend, aide, accomplice, accessory, assistant, abettor; colleague, coadjutor, auxiliary, helper.
4, 6. enemy, foe, adversary. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for allies


the plural of ally


plural noun
(in World War I) the powers of the Triple Entente (France, Russia, and Britain) together with the nations allied with them
(in World War II) the countries that fought against the Axis. The main Allied powers were Britain and the Commonwealth countries, the US, the Soviet Union, France, China, and Poland See also Axis


verb (əˈlaɪ) -lies, -lying, -lied usually foll by to or with
to unite or be united, esp formally, as by treaty, confederation, or marriage
(transitive; usually passive) to connect or be related, as through being similar or compatible
noun (ˈælaɪ; əˈlaɪ) (pl) -lies
a country, person, or group allied with another
a plant, animal, substance, etc, closely related to another in characteristics or form
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for allies



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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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allies in Culture

Allies definition

The victorious allied nations of World War I and World War II. In World War I, the Allies included Britain, France, Italy, Russia, and the United States. In World War II, the Allies included Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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