There are 2 definitions of alley in English:


Line breaks: alley
Pronunciation: /ˈali

noun (plural alleys)

1A narrow passageway between or behind buildings: he took a short cut along an alley there were a few muggings in the backstreets and alleys
More example sentences
  • As you walk along narrow alleys, there is a chance that you will see a door and behind it a gondola, or a harpsichord, a fresco or a baroque orchestra rehearsing for an evening concert.
  • In the shadows of the fine buildings where they work, in the lanes and alleys behind the great houses of the wealthy, is another more dangerous city.
  • Away from boulevards and cafes, away from lights and crowds, he lived among the narrow, twisting alleys.
passage, passageway, alleyway, back alley, backstreet, lane, path, pathway, walk; corridor, aisle, arcade; Northern Englishginnel, snicket, twitten; Scottishvennel; Scottish & Northern Englishwynd; Indiangully; Frenchallée
1.1A path lined with trees, bushes, or stones: alleys of standing stones
More example sentences
  • Down an alley lined with trees, shadowy even in the summer heat, stood a little white villa amid a wild garden.
  • The route is a fascinating medley of cobbled paths, alleys, fortified walls, and gardens.
  • Driving out I passed through rolling land with farms and forests and so many alleys of trees.
1.2 [with modifier] A long, narrow area in which games such as skittles and bowling are played: a skittle alley
More example sentences
  • The daytime activities are free and there will be something for everyone including a mobile skittle alley and a bouncy castle.
  • I couldn't find the old skittle alley, but thankfully they still have a bar.
  • The club offers live music and cabaret acts, a bar, a skittle alley, a function room seating more than 100 people, and various other attractions.
1.3 Tennis, North American Either of the two side strips between the singles sideline and the sidelines which count as part of the court in a doubles match.
More example sentences
  • He is just following the tread marks and signs on the tennis alley.
  • At 4.5 feet, it is exactly the width of a tennis alley.
1.4 Baseball The area between the outfielders in left-centre or right-centre field.
More example sentences
  • In Wrigley Field, the alley in right-center is a more forgiving 368 feet.
  • The Giants need to push back the power alleys, especially in right field -- the one point that juts out to 420 feet doesn't count.
  • The 315-foot left field line and short alleys have turned Houston baseball into a nightly slugging contest.


late Middle English: from Old French alee 'walking or passage', from aler 'go', from Latin ambulare 'to walk'.

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