March 26, 2013
allay (verb)
\al-LAY\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to make less severe : relieve2 : to make quiet : calm
How do you use it?
The coach allayed the team's nervousness by reminding them how well they had done at previous track meets.
Are you a word wiz?

Only one of the sentences below uses the word "allay" correctly. Which one do you think it is?

We're ready to allay any anxiety you have about today's question: B is the right answer. Something that allays your hunger relieves your hunger or makes it less severe. What about the other sentences? In each of them, the word "allay" should be replaced with a similar-sounding word if it's going to make sense. In A, a plane's departure is "delayed," which means it is detained for a time. For C, the right word is "relay," which in this context means "to pass along by stages." D makes sense if "allay" is replaced with "display," which here means "to put in plain view."
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