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or tra-la-la

[trah-lah or trah-lah-lah] /trɑˈlɑ or ˈtrɑ lɑˈlɑ/
nonsense syllables sung as a refrain, expressing gaiety.
Origin of tra-la
First recorded in 1815-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tra-la
Historical Examples
  • "tra-la, comrade," he shouted, leaping out of the cellar as soon as he saw me.

    Lords of the North A. C. Laut
  • "tra-la, tra-la-la-la-la," chirped he, softly and contentedly.

    The Diamond Coterie Lawrence L. Lynch
  • Then Kipps began to sing, "Ar pars eight tra-la, in the lane be'ind the church."

    Kipps H. G. Wells
  • The "tra-la" was considered to render this sentence incomprehensible to the uninitiated.

    Kipps H. G. Wells
  • He took the doll and jumped it up and down in the air, dancing about and singing, “tra-la.”

  • "tra-la la la-la-la-la, la-la la," he sang, snapping his fingers.

    One Man's Initiation--1917 John Dos Passos
  • We set off, and all the way we were eating, drinking champagne, and—tra-la—la!

British Dictionary definitions for tra-la


a set of nonsensical syllables used in humming music, esp for a melody or refrain
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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