Definition of alley noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈæli//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈæli//
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  1. 1(also alleyway
    BrE BrE//ˈæliweɪ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈæliweɪ//
    a narrow passage behind or between buildings a narrow/dark alley The car was hidden down a narrow alley in the downtown area. He ran down one of the dark alleys at the back of the shops. see also blind alley, bowling alley
  2. 2(North American English) (British English tramlines) (informal) the pair of parallel lines on a tennis or badminton court that mark the extra area that is used when four people are playing
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French alee ‘walking or passage’, from aler ‘go’, from Latin ambulare ‘to walk’.Extra examples I walked back along a side alley. Over-reliance on statistics has led us down a blind alley. She wandered through the back alleys. The alley leads to the restaurant kitchen. They had cornered him in an alley. a bar down a little alley a maze of narrow alleys An alley ran along the side of the house. He wandered back though the cobbled alleys. It is a medieval city of courtyards and twisting alleys. She was standing in a doorway halfway down the alley. The book describes the conditions of the urban poor in the sordid alleys of Victorian cities. The boy disappeared into a side alley. The city was a vast maze of narrow alleys. We walked up what turned out to be a blind alley.Idioms (North American English) (especially British English (right) up your street) (informal) very suitable for you because it is something that you know a lot about or are very interested in A teaching job would be right up her alley.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: alley