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[ey-lee] /ˈeɪ li/
plural of ala.


[ey-luh] /ˈeɪ lə/
noun, plural alae
[ey-lee] /ˈeɪ li/ (Show IPA)
a wing.
a winglike part, process, or expansion, as of a bone, shell, seed, or stem.
either of the two side petals of a flower in the legume family, as the pea.
(in an ancient Roman house) a small room, as an alcove, opening into a larger room or courtyard.
Origin of ala
1730-40; < Latin āla wing, armpit, shoulder, representing *aks-lā, derivative of same base as axis axle (see axis1); see axle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for alae
Historical Examples
  • When it is from fifty to sixty feet in length, devote one fourth of the length to the alae.

  • To the right of these alae, the two comrades now directed their steps.

    The Last Days of Pompeii Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
  • The alae, the 'wings' of the atrium, were two deep recesses in the sides (Fig. 115).

  • There was no second story over the alae, the tablinum, or the rooms about the peristyle.

  • One of the alae (h) at the time of the eruption was used as a wardrobe.

  • The alae replied: “It is in the leaf of the a-pe plant” (Alocasia macrorrhiza).

  • From forty to fifty feet, divide the length by three and one half, and give the alae the result.

  • From sixty to eighty feet, divide the length by four and one half and let the result be the width of the alae.

  • From eighty feet to one hundred feet, the length divided into five parts will produce the right width for the alae.

  • Their lintel beams should be placed high enough to make the height of the alae equal to their width.

British Dictionary definitions for alae


noun (pl) alae (ˈeɪliː)
(zoology) a wing or flat winglike process or structure, such as a part of some bones and cartilages
(botany) a winglike part, such as one of the wings of a sycamore seed or one of the flat petals of a sweet pea flower
Word Origin
C18: from Latin āla a wing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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alae in Medicine

ala a·la (ā'lə)
n. pl. a·lae (ā'lē)
A winglike or expanded structure or part, such as the external ear.

Ala abbr.

ALA (ā'ěl-ā')
Delta-aminolevulinic acid; an intermediate in the biosynthesis of hematin formed from glycine and succinyl-coenzyme A.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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