[ uh-las, uh-lahs ]
/ əˈlæs, əˈlɑs /


(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

Definition for alas (2 of 3)


Definition for alas (3 of 3)

sustineo alas

[ soo s-tin-e-oh ah-lahs; English suh-stin-ee-oh ey-las ]
/ sʊsˈtɪn ɛˌoʊ ˈɑ lɑs; English sʌˈstɪn iˌoʊ ˈeɪ læs /


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

Examples from the Web for alas

British Dictionary definitions for alas (1 of 2)


/ (əˈlæs) /

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

British Dictionary definitions for alas (2 of 2)


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