\ ə-ˈlas How to pronounce alas (audio) \

Definition of alas

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used to express unhappiness, pity, or concernLife, alas, is too short.

Definition of Alas (Entry 2 of 2)

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Synonyms for alas

Synonyms: Interjection

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Examples of alas in a Sentence

Interjection Juliet's pitiful lament, “alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead!”.
Recent Examples on the Web: Interjection Absent, alas, were his son, John Henry Angell, et famille, grounded in Portland on the opposite coast. Mark Singe, The New Yorker, "Roger Angell at a Hundred," 7 Sep. 2020 Other changes include: no songs, no Mushu the lizard-sized dragon (which means no Eddie Murphy, alas) and an additional character: Xian Liang (Gong Li), a witch in the invading army, led by Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee). Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "No songs, no Mushu, no theaters. What to expect from Disney's visually stunning 'Mulan'," 3 Sep. 2020 Boseman, as everyone now knows, was many things that the world, alas, could not hold for ever. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Years ago, Chicago’s young Congo Square Theatre put the young Chadwick Boseman’s work on stage," 1 Sep. 2020 Theaters, alas, can’t overcome the six-foot rule, that social distance diktat pulled from a hat by some boob public-health lifer whose idea of culture is online solitaire. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Timely Reminder in Dallas: Great Art Is Thrilling to Look At," 29 Aug. 2020 The stock slipped a bit later, however, and closed at something like only $1.979 trillion, alas. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "When cell phones were a “hot new industry”," 20 Aug. 2020 Humans learn quickly in childhood and continue learning – alas, more slowly – as adults. The Conversation, oregonlive, "The secrets of the female and male brain? Turns out they are pretty similar," 8 Aug. 2020 But alas, due to the current pandemic, various promotional performances and a global tour were postponed indefinitely, denying her fans the chance to jet off to Planet Chromatica in person. Liam Hess, Vogue, "Lady Gaga Announces Her VMAs Performance in Brilliantly Eccentric Style," 14 Aug. 2020 But alas, the tabloid media found a way to ruin things. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Secretly Attended a Party Wearing Venetian Masks," 13 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alas.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alas


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alas


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from a ah + las weary, from Latin lassus — more at lassitude

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Time Traveler for alas

Time Traveler

The first known use of alas was in the 13th century

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Statistics for alas

Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Alas.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alas. Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for alas

How to pronounce Alas (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of alas

old-fashioned + literary used to express sadness, sorrow, disappointment, etc.
\ ə-ˈlas How to pronounce alas (audio) \

Kids Definition of alas

used to express unhappiness, pity, disappointment or worryAlas, it was too late!

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