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al·ley 1 (ălē)
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n. pl. al·leys
1. A narrow street or passageway between or behind city buildings.
2. A path between flower beds or trees in a garden or park.
3. Sports
a. A straight narrow course or track, especially a bowling alley.
b. Either of the parallel lanes at the sides of a tennis court, which widen the inbounds area for doubles play.
Idiom:
up (one's) alley Informal
Compatible with one's interests or qualifications: an assignment that is right up your alley.

[Middle English alei, from Old French alee, from aler, to walk, from Latin ambulāre; see AMBULATE.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
al·ley 2 (ălē)
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n. pl. al·leys
Games
A large playing marble, often used as the shooter.

[Short for ALABASTER.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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