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

Definition of alas

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Definition of Alas (Entry 2 of 2)

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 His metaphor, alas, can’t sustain the weight of a book and must be stretched and contorted to cover too much ground. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 22 July 2022 But alas, my unsatisfying approach is to mute myself and leave them to their bubble. cleveland, 18 July 2022 But alas, my unsatisfying approach is to mute myself and leave them to their bubble. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 18 July 2022 But alas, my unsatisfying approach is to mute myself and leave them to their bubble. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 18 July 2022 The script, alas, is a bit of a 98-pound weakling, but given the escapist demands probably sufficient to get the job done. Brian Lowry, CNN, 15 July 2022 Her Valkyrie, alas, receives less screen time than Jane, who’s given a crisis as well as special powers, a blond blowout and muscles that inflate and deflate like party balloons. New York Times, 7 July 2022 In the end, alas, this noisy spectacle is more bark than bite. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 13 July 2022 The bad news, alas, is that’s the good news for the Nationals, who are on the verge of potentially answering a question rarely posed over the last 100-plus years: Which World Series champion declined fastest after its title? Jerry Beach, Forbes, 1 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Statistics for alas

Last Updated

30 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Alas.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alas. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for alas


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

Kids Definition of alas

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

More from Merriam-Webster on alas

Nglish: Translation of alas for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alas for Arabic Speakers


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