[uh-las, uh-lahs]


(used as an exclamation to express sorrow, grief, pity, concern, or apprehension of evil.)

Origin of alas

1225–75; Middle English < Old French (h)a las!, equivalent to (h)a ah + las wretched < Latin lassus weary; cf. alack


sustineo alas

[soo s-tin-e-oh ah-lahs; English suh-stin-ee-oh ey-las]


I sustain the wings: motto of the U.S. Air Force. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for alas

dear, woe, gee, oh

Examples from the Web for alas

Contemporary Examples of alas

Historical Examples of alas

British Dictionary definitions for alas


sentence connector

unfortunately; regrettablythere were, alas, none left


an exclamation of grief, compassion, or alarm

Word Origin for alas

C13: from Old French ha las! oh wretched!; las from Latin lassus weary


abbreviation for

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 alas

mid-13c., from Old French ha, las (later French hélas), from ha "ah" + las "unfortunate," originally "tired, weary," from Latin lassus "weary" (see late). At first an expression of weariness rather than woe.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper