Main definitions of ally in English

: ally1ally2

ally1

noun

  • 1A state formally cooperating with another for a military or other purpose, typically by treaty.

    • ‘For over 50 years our country, with our allies, has sought to avoid war by deterring potential aggressors.’
    • ‘The allies had no power to use military force to put pressure of any kind on the regime.’
    • ‘Force is on the menu, and will of course be necessary from time to time to protect ourselves or our allies.’
    • ‘It caused jealousies, disagreements, and suspicions among allies, at the expense of the common cause.’
    • ‘Slapping the cohorts of a military ally in the face is not very respectable.’
    • ‘He is working in a cooperative way with the United Nations and our allies around the world.’
    • ‘Japan is, for all intents and purposes, our strongest ally in Asia at the moment.’
    • ‘The two countries, ostensibly allies, too often view each other suspiciously and lovelessly.’
    • ‘Offending military allies or major trading partners is an important concern.’
    • ‘Many Taiwanese see those two countries as the island's most likely allies in any military conflict with China.’
    • ‘The North's disabling of the surveillance system has triggered alarm in the South and among its allies.’
    • ‘As the war continued, Italy's relations with its allies continued to develop.’
    • ‘The use of military bases is dependant on the good will of their allies, many of which are not as willing as before.’
    • ‘We're going to depend on our allies, and others are going to have to belly up the same as we are.’
    • ‘He still has allies inside Umno and among Malaysia's numerous royal families.’
    • ‘While the wars remained a contest for empire, Britain was less dependent on allies.’
    • ‘Many of these countries are natural allies of reform and rapid growth, having emerged from behind the iron curtain a decade and a half ago.’
    • ‘The division among progressive allies is a signal of the genomic politics to come.’
    • ‘He stated that First Nations are allies with the Queen, not subjects to her.’
    • ‘The Philippines and Thailand are military allies of the U.S. in Southeast Asia.’
    1. 1.1 A person or organization that cooperates with or helps another in a particular activity.
      ‘he was forced to dismiss his closest political ally’
      • ‘Frankly, a lot of the money seems to be going to the political allies of this president.’
      • ‘Genuine reformers will look to teachers and teacher organizations as their allies.’
      • ‘He was in a particularly bad mood one day after his father had called him to come help him promote a political ally.’
      • ‘The idea of calling in the military to shape up students has won some unusual allies.’
      • ‘According to friends, he enjoys making avian analogies between rare birds and his political allies and enemies.’
      • ‘Some of his former political allies had turned their backs on him.’
      • ‘You sideline friends and allies, whose cooperation could help preserve your security.’
      • ‘Does it bother you in the least that many of your political allies are in favor of anarchy?’
      • ‘He said he had no idea his political ally was misusing Forum funds.’
      • ‘Hostilities will cease and you shall depart college with true allies and four good years.’
      • ‘I'd say to people who are immediately under attack from this, get yourselves organised, find allies and fight back.’
      • ‘The two families never lost sight of the fact they were not only business allies but close friends.’
      • ‘Maybe he and his genuine allies should forget the religious order and join a political party.’
      • ‘The two organisations have key allies and it s reassuring for economic development.’
      • ‘Within my global responsibilities, the legal department was a close ally and business partner.’
      • ‘As his political allies and opponents will know only too well, he had so much more to offer.’
      • ‘Moreover, it is a mistake to think that militaries rule without civilian allies.’
      • ‘What is out-dated is the belief that it is possible to conduct politics by ignoring your allies and angering your enemies.’
      • ‘I've come to see the cactus as an organic metaphor for technology; a thorny ally in the artistic process.’
      • ‘Only a hard core of biotech businesses, researchers and their political allies are bothered.’
      associate, colleague, friend, confederate, partner, supporter, accomplice, helper, accessory, abetter
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    2. 1.2 A group of nations taking military action together, in particular the countries that fought with the US in World War I and World War II.
      • ‘How did the German experience of World War One trench warfare differ from that of the Allies?’
      • ‘This skirmish against the Allies was fought just outside Paris, to the east of the city.’
      • ‘Many Jews had fought for the Allies during World War Two and had developed their military skills as a result.’
      • ‘A renewal of the war was unavoidable, and the Allies promptly formed the Seventh Coalition.’
      • ‘After the Nazi surrender, the Allies and Russia met at Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin.’
      • ‘Already decorated with an Iron Cross, Gecas was later decorated for fighting for the Allies.’
      • ‘Roosevelt and Stalin had not yet met, but as Allies they could be shown together.’
      • ‘The most significant result of the raid was on morale, as the Allies had had few big victories to that date.’
      • ‘If the Allies could acquire those machines and their keys, it would be a major help in decrypting Enigma.’
      • ‘The Allies would not negotiate with a country that had plunged Europe into war twice in 30 years.’
      • ‘If the Allies controlled the rail junction, they could supply their own men.’
      • ‘It was now clear: the Allies were fighting an undeclared war against the Bolsheviks.’
      • ‘What the Allies had not expected was that while they were preparing to win the long war, France would lose a short one.’
      • ‘For the rest of the war the Allies were to fight under a single overall command.’
      • ‘Other nations that fought for the Allies offered their support for the declaration.’
      • ‘Rochdale could be justly proud of the role it played in helping the Allies to victory in World War Two.’
      • ‘The war in Africa was to play a key role in the overall success of the Allies in World War Two.’
      • ‘This left Germany with only sixty divisions with which to repel the Allies on the Western Front.’
      • ‘Montgomery wanted the Allies to use the power they had to get to Berlin before the Russians.’
      • ‘It was the first battle won by the Allies in World War Two and Hitler never won a battle after that.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]ally something to/with
  • 1Combine or unite a resource or commodity with (another) for mutual benefit.

    ‘he allied his racing experience with his father's business acumen’
    • ‘This bleak outlook on humankind allies him to Beckett, and it's no surprise that the godfather of the absurd should be here in one of the show's most powerful pieces.’
    • ‘She had proved a good leader, allying her people with the underground, yet keeping the government in power in complete ignorance of her true alliance.’
    • ‘I also believe such a shift would be good for the nationalist brand: it would ally the party with the quality of dynamism, while showing commitment to personal as well as national ‘freedom’.’
    • ‘I also choose to continue with the discourse of addiction, in spite of the compelling arguments about its limits and fallibility, because it allies me with people who are living in ways I value.’
    • ‘In the war against Spain and Austria, he allied Catholic France with Protestant Holland in 1624.’
    • ‘Garry Hay is an integral part of the side as he allies defensive duties with his non-stop attacking forays down the flanks.’
    • ‘His speed defied belief and he allied it with a wondrous temperament.’
    • ‘Four Scots ambassadors, two bishops and two nobles, sailed for France in July, and allied the country to Philip IV in October 1295.’
    • ‘In the first innings Lee had been erratic and expensive, like Warne conceding more than 100 runs, but yesterday he sustained a decent pace and allied it to accuracy.’
    • ‘I get the feeling that she rather enjoys criticism, likes the way it allies her with the feminists of the past, the Germaine Greers and Mary Wollstonecrafts, who have also been made to suffer for their beliefs.’
    combine, marry, couple, merge, amalgamate, join, pool, fuse, weld, knit
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    1. 1.1ally oneself with Side with or support (someone or something)
      ‘he allied himself with the forces of change’
      • ‘In Mexico, the Greens are allying themselves with the right-wing Catholic PAN party, enthusiastic supporters of economic deregulation (free trade).’
      • ‘Increasingly, institutions of higher learning are allying themselves with the proponents of social justice, blurring the line between knowledge and belief, education and indoctrination.’
      • ‘Since the families you ally yourself with in marriage determine your level of access to credit, education, food, housing, and a host of other goods, loss of reputation is a disaster.’
      • ‘To broaden support for the town, the coalition has allied itself with Jewish groups in Israel and the United States.’
      • ‘Clint never allies himself with the townsfolk, he's never on their side.’
      • ‘Much of how the game plays out depends on which of the four major players you choose to ally yourself with: the English, French, Spanish, or pirates.’
      • ‘On the other side, advocates of indigenous authors allied themselves with partisans of free trade and international copyright, claiming universal natural rights of authorship.’
      • ‘Are these the sort of people you wish to ally yourself with politically?’
      • ‘What if every 200 humans adopted a species and allied themselves with it throughout their lives?’
      • ‘Moderate Conservatives will prefer not to ally themselves with those views and will stay at home.’
      unite, join, join up, join forces, band together, go into partnership, team up, combine, collaborate, side, align oneself, league, go into league, affiliate, confederate, form an alliance, throw in one's lot, make common cause
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Origin

Middle English (as a verb): from Old French alier, from Latin alligare ‘bind together’, from ad- ‘to’ + ligare ‘to bind’; the noun is partly via Old French alie ‘allied’. Compare with alloy.

Pronunciation

ally

/ˈælaɪ//ˈalī/

Main definitions of ally in English

: ally1ally2

ally2

noun

  • variant spelling of alley