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Etymology 1[edit]

From Anglo-Norman alai, from Old French aloi, from aloiier, from Latin alligō.


  • IPA(key): /ˈæ.lɔɪ/, /əˈlɔɪ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ælɔɪ, -ɔɪ


alloy (countable and uncountable, plural alloys)

  1. A metal that is a combination of two or more elements, at least one of which is a metal, a base metal.
  2. (archaic) A metal of lesser value, mixed with a metal of greater value.
    gold without alloy
    • 1888, Arthur Talbot Vanderbilt, Gold Not Only in Wales, But Also in Great Britain and Ireland: Facts and Figures, page 17:
      Many of these coins are preserved at the British Museum, in London, and at the Ashmolean Museum, in Oxford, and are all of pure gold, without alloy, and in a good state of preservation. Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni, is also said to have []
  3. An admixture; something added which stains, taints etc.
  4. (figurative) Fusion, marriage, combination.
    • 1986, 1987 Year Book:
      SETH KITANGE TELEVISION AND RADIO Upheaval at CBS. [] Bill Moyers, a CBS News commentator and special correspondent, expressed his dismay in an interview with Newsweek in which he said, “Television news has never been pure. It has always been an alloy of journalism and show business.”
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old French aloiier (assemble, join), from Latin alligare (bind to, tie to), compound of ad (to) + ligare (to bind).



alloy (third-person singular simple present alloys, present participle alloying, simple past and past participle alloyed)

  1. To mix or combine; often used of metals.
  2. To reduce the purity of by mixing with a less valuable substance.
    to alloy gold with silver or copper, or silver with copper
  3. (figurative) To impair or debase by mixture.
    to alloy pleasure with misfortunes

See also[edit]