Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Music The sixth tone of the diatonic scale in solfeggio.
  • interj. Used to express emphasis or indicate surprise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Prefixed to the name of a woman, with ironic effect (as though an opera prima donna).
  • n. A syllable used in solfège to represent the sixth note of a major scale.
  • interj. Used to introduce a statement with emphatic or intensive effect.
  • interj. Expressing surprise, anger etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A syllable applied to the sixth tone of the scale in music in solmization.
  • n. The tone A; -- so called among the French and Italians.
  • interj. Look; see; behold; -- sometimes followed by you.
  • interj. An exclamation of surprise; -- commonly followed by me

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An expression of mild admiration, wonder, or surprise, and formerly of asseveration: as, O la! that is strange.
  • n. In solmization, the syllable used for the sixth tone of the scale—that is, the submediant.
  • n. The feminine form of the definite article in French, occurring in some names and phrases used in English.
  • n. In chem., the symbol for lanthanum.
  • n. A contraction of Louisiana.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a state in southern United States on the Gulf of Mexico; one of the Confederate states during the American Civil War
  • n. a white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily; occurs in rare earth minerals and is usually classified as a rare earth
  • n. the syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization

Etymologies

Middle English, from Medieval Latin; see gamut.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Originally as the first syllable of Latin labii. (Wiktionary)
Old English . (Wiktionary)
From French la, Italian la. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Jeudi, la presse italienne s'est longuement attardée sur «la Carla».

    [carla bruni-sarkozy] déchaîne les passions italiennes

  • He's sweet la .. i know .. but he need not spend this kinda $$ on me de lo ... i can seriously protect myself. but i guess he didnt think so la~ haha!

    kimmiology Diary Entry

  • There is a wine list that has the *ooh la la* wines, but they also have a list of wines that are $10 a bottle.

    Red and Roasted Peppers to the Rescue - San Gennaro Cafe, Brentwood

  • Are we that fermented and pungent that we have to perfume ourselves with the more refined *ooh la la* Japanese?

    Crouching Liger, Hidden Korean - Miyako Japanese Restaurant

  • J'ai toujours pensé que la mémoire était *la* grande affaire de la langue... et de la vie, en fait.

    languagehat.com: ARCHIVE(S).

  • It begins, “Deck the halls with boughs of holly;/Fa la la la la, la la la la….

    "Deck the Halls"

  • Vol. 5: Oeuvres anonymes du XVIIIe siècle (III): du Père Dirrag et de Mademoiselle Eradice Le Triomphe des religieuses ou les nonnes babillardes Lettres galantes et philosophiques de deux nonnes La Messaline française ou les nuits de la duchesse de Pol… et aventures mystérieuses de la princesse d'H… et de la…

    Sex for Thought

  • J'ai entendu un des hommes de loi les plus éclairés, et dont à tout autre égard les opinions sont libérales, soutenir que "ce serait attenter à _la propriété_ que de déclarer libres même les enfans à naître des femmes esclaves, parce que, disait-il, les maîtres qui out acheté ou hérité des esclaves, les possèdent dans la confiance que leur _issue_ sera leur propriété utile et disponible."

    The Journal of Negro History, Volume 1, January 1916

  • I was always designated after that as _Mademoiselle qui sait la boxe -- oh, la la_!

    Fanny Goes to War

  • Passing one of the _salons_ I saw a group of ladies and gentlemen, and thinking you might be one of the number, and the music just striking up for my dance with you, _la belle de la nuit_, I entered the _salon_, gazing eagerly amongst them, coming away, as you know, disappointed.

    A Heart-Song of To-day

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Comments

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  • La. Chemical element symbol for Lanthanum.

    December 16, 2007