variant of ad- before l: allure. Unabridged


a word in Arabic names meaning “family” or “the house of”: Al-Saud, or the members of the house of Saud.

< Arabic āl family Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

al- pref.
Variant of ad-.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


Arabic definite article, meaning "the." It often prefixes Arabic proper nouns, especially place-names; an example is Al-Jazirah (Arabic: "The Island"), the name of an interfluvial region in The Sudan. The article is often used in lowercase form, hence al-Jazirah. Reference works, including Encyclopaedia Britannica, often alphabetize names beginning with al- under the main part of the name (thus, in the example, "Jazirah, Al-"). Thirteen Arabic letters-the so-called sun letters, t, th, d, dh, r, z, s, sh, s, d, t, z, and n-assimilate the l of al- in pronunciation; thus, Ash-Sham (the colloquial Arabic name of Damascus), not Al-Sham.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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