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Etymology 1[edit]

Anglo-Norman and Old French alee, feminine of alé, past participle of aler (to go) (French aller). See also allée.


alley (plural alleys)

  1. A narrow street or passageway, especially one through the middle of a block giving access to the rear of lots or buildings.
    The parking lot to my friend's apartment building is in the alley.
  2. (baseball) The area between the outfielders.
    He hit one deep into the alley.
  3. (bowling) An establishment where bowling is played.
  4. (tennis) The extra area between the sidelines or tramlines on a tennis court that is used for doubles matches.
  5. A walk or passage in a garden or park, bordered by rows of trees or bushes.
    • Milton
      I know each lane and every alley green.
  6. A passageway between rows of pews in a church.
  7. (perspective drawing) Any passage having the entrance represented as wider than the exit, so as to give the appearance of length.
  8. The space between two rows of compositors' stands in a printing office.
  • (narrow street): For semantic relationships of this term, see alley in the Thesaurus.
  • (area between the outfielders): gap
  • (bowling establishment): bowling alley
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Diminutive of alabaster.


alley (plural alleys)

  1. A glass marble or taw.