There are 2 main 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.
corridor, aisle, arcade;
Northern English ginnel, snicket, twitten;
Scottish vennel;
Scottish & Northern English wynd;
Indian gully;
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'.

Definition of alley in: