Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To assert to be true; affirm: alleging his innocence of the charge.
  • transitive v. To assert without or before proof: The indictment alleges that the commissioner took bribes.
  • transitive v. To state (a plea or excuse, for example) in support or denial of a claim or accusation: The defendant alleges temporary insanity.
  • transitive v. Archaic To bring forward as an authority.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To lighten, diminish.
  • v. To state under oath, to plead.
  • v. To cite or quote an author or his work for or against.
  • v. To adduce (something) as a reason, excuse, support etc.
  • v. To make a claim as justification or proof; to make an assertion without proof.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To bring forward with positiveness; to declare; to affirm; to assert.
  • transitive v. To cite or quote.
  • transitive v. To produce or urge as a reason, plea, or excuse.
  • transitive v. To alleviate; to lighten, as a burden or a trouble.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To declare before a court; plead at law; hence, in general, to produce as an argument, plea, or excuse; cite or quote in confirmation: as, to allege exculpatory facts; to allege the authority of a court.
  • To pronounce with positiveness; declare; affirm; assert: as, to allege a fact.
  • Synonyms Adduce, Allege, Assign, etc. (see adduce), bring forward, aver, asseverate, maintain, say, insist, plead, produce, cite.
  • To alleviate; lighten; mitigate; allay.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. report or maintain

Etymologies

Middle English alleggen, from Old French alegier, to vindicate, justify (influenced by aleguer, to give a reason), from esligier, to pay a fine, justify oneself, from Late Latin *exlītigāre, to clear at law : Latin ex-, out; see ex- + Latin lītigāre, to sue; see litigate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French alegier, from Latin alleviāre, present active infinitive of alleviō ("lighten"), from ad + levis ("light"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English aleggen, from Anglo-Norman aleger, the form from Old French esligier, from Medieval Latin *exlītigāre ("to clear at law"), from Latin ex ("out") + lītigō ("sue at law"), the meaning from Old French alleguer, from Latin allēgāre, present active infinitive of allēgō ("send, depute; relate, mention, adduce"), from ad ("to") + lēgō ("send"). (Wiktionary)

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