An adjective used to describe anything that is questionably true; a claim of an action, person, place, or thing that has yet to be sufficiently proven true.
The adjective “alleged” is commonly used in legal terms as it relates to allegations. An allegation is a statement made by an individual who claims what they say to be accurate, though it lacks a significant amount of evidence to back said claim. This claim is stated as a fact but will remain an allegation until sufficient evidence comes to light. Therefore, anything said as part of an allegation is thereby considered to be alleged.
To allege is for an individual to claim a statement to be accurate at the moment they are alleging it. However, for something to be considered alleged, it must have been said at a previous point in time. Defendants who plead their case in a court of law will often allege details in the process of reciting, stating, or inditing facts to the best of their knowledge and ability. Lawsuits almost always begin with one party filing a claim they think to be accurate and worthy of the court’s attention as a result of an alleged crime or wrongdoing they believe in having experienced.
In a court of law, if the allegations outlined in the accuser’s claim fail to provide enough proof that a violation of their legal rights occurred, the defendant in such as case can cite the accuser’s failure to provide a “cause of action” and, in turn, request that the court dismiss the allegation. If, however, the defendant’s answer does not contradict the accuser’s alleged details, then the accuser has the right to request “summary judgment.”
Real-World Example of Alleged
Since many news stories cover developing situations, journalists will frequently use the word “alleged” in order to indicate the information they are reporting—as well as the conclusions they are drawing from it—have yet to be proven as factual. The term alleged can be observed in the relationship between technology giant Apple and the Chinese government. The global non-profit SumOfUs highlighted Apple’s compliance with the Chinese government when the company agreed to remove applications for major news outlets and as a tracking service for protesters in Hong Kong. Although neither Apple nor the Chinese government has announced any formal partnership, as Fortune.com writes, “SumOfUs cites the tech giant’s alleged role in helping Beijing censor and surveil its citizens.”
Alternatively, another example of alleged is in the case of a sexual assault allegation against former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. According to Brown’s former trainer in a 2019 lawsuit (via SteelersNow.com), “Britney Taylor… alleged Brown sexually assaulted her”. In the lawsuit, Taylor claimed that in June of 2017, Brown had “exploited, sexually assaulted, and raped” her while he was still a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, Brown denied the allegations until April of 2021. A settlement was reached, with a joint statement refuting the claims in characterizing the agreement as “mutual and cordial.”