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.
  3. either of the two side petals of a flower in the legume family, as the pea.
  4. (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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for alae

Historical Examples of alae

British Dictionary definitions for alae


noun plural 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

Word Origin for ala

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

alae in Medicine


n. pl. a•lae (ā)
  1. A winglike or expanded structure or part, such as the external ear.


  1. alanine


  1. 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.