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plural alae ˈā-ˌlē How to pronounce ala (audio)
: a wing or a winglike anatomic part or process (see process entry 1 sense 4)
alar adjective
alary adjective


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abbreviation (1)



3 of 4

abbreviation (2)

American Library Association

à la

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ˌä-(ˌ)lä How to pronounce à la (audio)
variants or less commonly a la
: in the manner of
walking with a swagger à la John Wayne

Examples of ala in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Now, Dolby is launching an additional plan through which theater owners can have access to the Dolby Vision projectors a la carte for premium auditoriums that already offer Atmos. Dolby Cinema was introduced as a premium brand in 2014, and today there are 275 Dolby Cinemas worldwide. Carolyn Giardina, Variety, 2 Apr. 2024 Services should be unbundled and offered as a la carte options to maximize revenue. Roger Dooley, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Buyers either pay a $10,000 fee or select services a la carte. Ethan Varian, The Mercury News, 19 Mar. 2024 During a recent cruise on the line’s newest ship, Jubilee, cocktails at new venues Dr.Inks, Ph.D., and The Golden Mermaid were priced at $14 a la carte, plus an 18% gratuity charge. Nathan Diller, USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2024 Is owner Arte Moreno trying to kill off the fan base and move the team a la Georgia Frontiere with the Rams? Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2024 Several a la carte menu items at an additional cost including baked mac and cheese, crab cakes, and Parmesan truffle fries. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 20 Mar. 2024 Dishes include popcorn hamachi with popcorn cream, toro carpaccio with truffle sauce, and an a la carte selection of different cuts of fish served as nigiri, sashimi, aburi, or temaki. Jacqueline Dole, Travel + Leisure, 19 Mar. 2024 Chef Moira Hill’s a la carte menu will include crab Benedict with truffle Béarnaise sauce, coconut pancakes and brioche French toast , as well as salads, appetizers, desserts and brunch cocktails. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ala.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



borrowed from Latin āla "armpit, upper arm, wing, axil" going back to *akslā, going back to Indo-European *h2eḱs-(i)l-eh2- (whence also Germanic *ahslō-, whence Old English eaxl "shoulder," Old Frisian axle, axele "shoulder, armpit," Old Saxon ahsla, Old High German ahsla, ahsala, Old Icelandic ǫxl "shoulder"), derivative with an -l- suffix from *h2eḱs- "pivot around which something rotates, axle" — more at axis


French à la

First Known Use


1634, in the meaning defined above


circa 1642, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ala was in 1634

Dictionary Entries Near ala

Cite this Entry

“Ala.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


1 of 3 noun
plural alae -ˌlē How to pronounce ala (audio)
: a wing or a winglike anatomic process or part
especially : ala nasi


2 of 3 abbreviation
alanine; alanyl


3 of 3 abbreviation

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