Definition of alas in English:
exclamationarchaic or humorous
- 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.
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.
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