[ ey-luh ]

noun,plural a·lae [ey-lee]. /ˈeɪ li/.
  1. a wing.

  2. a winglike part, process, or expansion, as of a bone, shell, seed, or stem.

  1. either of the two side petals of a flower in the legume family, as the pea.

  2. (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

Other definitions for Ala (2 of 6)

[ ah-lah ]

  1. Hus·sein [hoo-seyn], /hʊˈseɪn/, 1888–1964, Iranian statesman and diplomat: premier in 1951 and from 1955 to 1957.

Other definitions for Ala (3 of 6)



Other definitions for à la (4 of 6)

à la

or a la

[ ahlah, ahluh; French ala ]

  1. according to; in the manner of: a short poem à la Ogden Nash.

  2. Cooking.

    • prepared in the manner of, to the taste of, or by: chicken à la provençale.

    • prepared with the ingredient of.

Origin of à la

First recorded in 1580–90; from French: short for à la mode de “in the style of”; à “at, in, to,” from Latin ad ad-; la, feminine of le “the,” from Latin ille “that” (cf. alligator )

Other definitions for Ala. (5 of 6)


  1. Alabama.

Other definitions for A.L.A. (6 of 6)


  1. American Library Association.

  2. Associate in Liberal Arts.

  1. Authors League of America.

  2. Automobile Legal Association. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ala in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ala (1 of 3)


/ (ˈeɪlə) /

nounplural alae (ˈeɪliː)
  1. zoology a wing or flat winglike process or structure, such as a part of some bones and cartilages

  2. 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

Origin of ala

C18: from Latin āla a wing

British Dictionary definitions for à la (2 of 3)

à la

/ (ɑː lɑː, æ lə, French a la) /

  1. in the manner or style of

  2. as prepared in (a particular place) or by or for (a particular person)

Origin of à la

C17: from French, short for à la mode de in the style of

British Dictionary definitions for Ala. (3 of 3)


abbreviation for
  1. Alabama

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with ala


Like, in the manner of, as in He hoped to break all records, à la Babe Ruth. This expression, an abbreviation of the French à la mode de (for “in the manner of”), has been used in English since the late 1500s.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.