There are 2 main definitions of ally in English:

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ally 1


Pronunciation: /ˈalī/
(plural allies)
1A state formally cooperating with another for a military or other purpose, typically by treaty.
Example sentences
  • Japan is, for all intents and purposes, our strongest ally in Asia at the moment.
  • Many Taiwanese see those two countries as the island's most likely allies in any military conflict with China.
  • The Philippines and Thailand are military allies of the U.S. in Southeast Asia.
1.1A person or organization that cooperates with or helps another in a particular activity: he was forced to dismiss his closest political ally
More example sentences
  • Genuine reformers will look to teachers and teacher organizations as their allies.
  • Within my global responsibilities, the legal department was a close ally and business partner.
  • The two organisations have key allies and it s reassuring for economic development.
associate, colleague, friend, confederate, partner, supporter
(allies) informalpeeps
1.2 (the Allies) 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.
Example sentences
  • Many Jews had fought for the Allies during World War Two and had developed their military skills as a result.
  • It was the first battle won by the Allies in World War Two and Hitler never won a battle after that.
  • Rochdale could be justly proud of the role it played in helping the Allies to victory in World War Two.


Pronunciation: /əˈlī/
(allies, allying, allied) [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
More example sentences
  • Garry Hay is an integral part of the side as he allies defensive duties with his non-stop attacking forays down the flanks.
  • 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’.
  • 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.
combine, marry, couple, merge, amalgamate, join, fuse
1.1 (ally oneself with) Side with or support (someone or something): he allied himself with the forces of change
More example sentences
  • On the other side, advocates of indigenous authors allied themselves with partisans of free trade and international copyright, claiming universal natural rights of authorship.
  • 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.
  • Moderate Conservatives will prefer not to ally themselves with those views and will stay at home.
unite, combine, join (up), join forces, band together, team up, collaborate, side, align oneself, form an alliance, throw in one's lot, make common cause


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.

  • Latin alligere ‘combine together’, formed from ad- ‘to(gether)’ and ligare ‘bind’ developed into two closely related words in Old French: alier which became ally in English, and aloyer which became alloy (late 16th century). Ligare is also hidden in furl (late 16th century) which comes from French ferler, from ferm ‘firm’ and lier ‘bind’; league (Late Middle English) a binding together; and oblige (Middle English) originally meaning ‘bind by oath’.

Words that rhyme with ally

Altai, apply, assai, awry, ay, aye, Baha'i, belie, bi, Bligh, buy, by, bye, bye-bye, chi, Chiangmai, Ciskei, comply, cry, Cy, Dai, defy, deny, Di, die, do-or-die, dry, Dubai, dye, espy, eye, fie, fly, forbye, fry, Frye, goodbye (US goodby), guy, hereby, hi, hie, high, I, imply, I-spy, July, kai, lie, lye, Mackay, misapply, my, nearby, nigh, Nye, outfly, passer-by, phi, pi, pie, ply, pry, psi, Qinghai, rai, rely, rocaille, rye, scry, serai, shanghai, shy, sigh, sky, Skye, sky-high, sly, spin-dry, spry, spy, sty, Sukhotai, supply, Tai, Thai, thereby, thigh, thy, tie, Transkei, try, tumble-dry, underlie, Versailles, Vi, vie, whereby, why, wry, Wye, xi, Xingtai, Yantai
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There are 2 main definitions of ally in English:

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ally 2

noun (plural allies)

Variant spelling of alley2.
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