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13 Essential Literary Terms

alas

[uh-las, uh-lahs] /əˈlæs, əˈlɑs/
interjection
1.
(used as an exclamation to express sorrow, grief, pity, concern, or apprehension of evil.)
Origin
1225-1275
1225-75; Middle English < Old French (h)a las!, equivalent to (h)a ah + las wretched < Latin lassus weary; cf. alack

Alas.

1.

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/
Latin.
1.
I sustain the wings: motto of the U.S. Air Force.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for alas
  • Good things usually come in threes but, alas, not here.
  • But alas, that time has passed.
  • But, alas, they show the effects.
  • alas, no other fruit has been so radically transformed by industrial agriculture.
  • alas, they all noticed it and indeed found it disgusting.
  • alas, it has come to my attention that there is an animal that has killed more than all of the wolves and rattlesnakes combined.
  • alas, destroying civilization with slow deaths from tumor formation probably doesn't translate well to the big screen.
  • The father, alas, is addicted to a drug that is harder to quit than heroin.
  • alas the engine wouldn't work nor was the beer cold.
  • alas, fate has taken me in a different direction in life.
British Dictionary definitions for alas

alas

/əˈlæs/
sentence connector
1.
unfortunately; regrettably: there were, alas, none left
interjection
2.
an exclamation of grief, compassion, or alarm
Word Origin
C13: from Old French ha las! oh wretched!; las from Latin lassus weary

Alas.

abbreviation
1.
Alaska
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
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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
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Related Abbreviations for alas

Alas.

Alaska
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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