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pis aller

[pee za-ley]
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noun French.
  1. the last resort or the final resource.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pis aller

Historical Examples

  • All this, of course, was but making the best of a pis-aller.

    Benjamin Franklin; Self-Revealed, Volume II (of 2)

    Wiliam Cabell Bruce

  • The hospitable vicar had suggested dinner—lunch as a pis-aller.

    The Gay Adventure

    Richard Bird

  • As a pis-aller, this was accepted; and Ries remained at Arnsberg about nine months, after which he returned home.

  • The whole is an extravagant riot of second bests, a pandemonium of pis-aller.


British Dictionary definitions for pis aller

pis aller

noun
  1. a last resort; stopgap
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Word Origin

literally: (at) the worst going
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

Word Origin and History for pis aller

n.

"last resource, what one would do at the worst," 1670s, French, literally "to go worse," from pis "worse," from Latin peius, neuter of peior "worse" (see pejorative) + aller "to go."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper