From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishallyal‧ly1 /ˈælaɪ $ ˈælaɪ, əˈlaɪ/ ●○○ noun (plural allies) [countable] 1 PGa country that agrees to help or support another country in a war a meeting of the European allies2 → the Allies3 SUPPORT A TEAM OR PLAYERsomeone who helps and supports you when other people are trying to oppose you Ridley was one of the Queen’s closest allies. a staunch ally (=very close ally) of President Soares a network of political allies She knew she had found an ally in Ted.4 something that helps you succeed in a difficult situation Exercise is an important ally in your campaign to lose weight.
Examples from the Corpusally• Third World industry could also become an ally in promoting efficient technology.• If they are burned they can not regenerate, so fire is the greatest ally of the Troll fighter.• Korzhakov and his allies may have the resources to disrupt the peace, and with it the election, if they choose.• Sigibert retaliated by calling in his allies from across the Rhine.• At first glance, the antagonists look a lot like allies.• The auto industry has many allies in Congress.• They therefore proved natural allies in her assault upon the seat of consensus in Whitehall.• By the end of World War I, however, she faced a widening split with her radical allies.• This book therefore sets out to win over a much wider audience to the beauty and importance of ferns and their allies.political allies• The two have been close ideological and political allies since they served together in the House.• There was little support for Archer from his former political allies.• But the discrediting of his political allies leaves Mr Berlusconi vulnerable.allyal‧ly2 /əˈlaɪ $ əˈlaɪ, ˈælaɪ/ verb (allied, allying) UNITE[transitive always +adv/preposition] to help and support other people or countries, especially in a war or disagreementally yourself to/with somebody Some of the northern cities allied themselves with the emperor. → allied→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusally• Willa remains, in my memory, my dearest ally.• It extended its powers over smaller towns and communes, such as Nonantola, and allied itself with others.• At that time the country was partitioned among wartime allied powers.• The prince then moved to Poitiers and allied with his uncle Childebert against his father.• Any decision in favour of change has to be allied with the ability and the confidence to change.ally yourself to/with somebody• There was no resistance from government forces, most of whom had already allied themselves with Masud.• Some commentators speculate he also could ally himself with maverick retired Gen.• It allies itself with no political party, no outside cause.• It extended its powers over smaller towns and communes, such as Nonantola, and allied itself with others.• She allies herself with Sarah, and rejects the men, who instantly close ranks against her.• At one time, Evers allied himself with the most liberal of liberal Democrats.• Some priests and nuns openly allied themselves with the rebels.• But some priests and nuns openly allied themselves with the rebels.• He would do anything, I think, to harm Arthur, even ally himself with the Saxons.Origin ally2 (1300-1400) Old French alier, from Latin alligare, from ad- “to” + ligare “to tie”