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pis aller

[pee za-ley] /pi zaˈleɪ/
noun, French.
the last resort or the final resource. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pis aller
Historical Examples
  • The young gentleman had recourse as a pis aller to his mamma.

  • Yet he is largely a pis aller for the would-be reader of Cassius Dio.

  • Orthodox Socialism is still a case of the "lesser evil," what the French call a pis aller.

    The New Society Walther Rathenau
  • He endeavored to soothe him, but in vain; and as a pis aller, told the man of sole to 'go to the devil!'

  • This I suppose the pis aller of their affairs, while their probable event is a peaceable settlement of them.

  • Often a rook will make for a rather distant plantation, with a nearer shelter of an inferior kind in view as a pis aller.

  • If conscience must reign supreme, all government is a pis aller, and in anarchy the true millennium must be found.

    Henry VIII. A. F. Pollard
  • But don't you see, if it is said that she was obliged to leave Milan, it puts us in the position of a pis aller!

    A Siren Thomas Adolphus Trollope
  • It would be time enough to give in, and make the best of a pis aller , when he was forced to do so.

    The Kellys and the O'Kellys Anthony Trollope
  • My poor fellow went off in a fit, last week, and I took that Irishman as a pis aller.

    The Chainbearer J. Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for pis aller

pis aller

/piz ale/
a last resort; stopgap
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
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Word Origin and History for pis aller

"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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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