Definition of alas in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈlas/
Pronunciation: /əˈlɑːs/


archaic or humorous
Used to express grief, pity, or concern: alas, my funds have some limitations
More example sentences
  • I caught my arms around a low wall that separated the two sections of the path, but alas!
  • We looked in vain expecting the area to miraculously improve but alas, no such luck.
  • Shopping, alas, is likely always to lag behind the entertainment industry.


Middle English: from Old French a las, a lasse, from a 'ah' + las(se) (from Latin lassus 'weary').

  • This expression of dismay is from Old French a las, a lasse, from a ‘ah’ and las(se), from Latin lassus ‘weary’. Late Middle English alack is a comparable exclamation, from a ‘ah!’ and lak ‘lack’. It originally expressed dissatisfaction and the notion ‘shame that it should be the case’; this came to convey regret or surprise, as in alack-a-day.

Words that rhyme with alas

Alsace, amass, Bass, chasse, crass, crevasse, en masse, gas, Hamas, lass, mass, morass, sass, tarantass, tass, wrasse

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: alas

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