• synonyms


[uh-las, uh-lahs]
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  1. (used as an exclamation to express sorrow, grief, pity, concern, or apprehension of evil.)
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Origin of alas

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


  1. Alaska.
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sustineo alas

[soo s-tin-e-oh ah-lahs; English suh-stin-ee-oh ey-las]
  1. I sustain the wings: motto of the U.S. Air Force.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for alas


sentence connector
  1. unfortunately; regrettablythere were, alas, none left
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  1. an exclamation of grief, compassion, or alarm
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Word Origin

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


abbreviation for
  1. Alaska
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper