Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An assimilated form of Latin ad- before l (see ad-); also an erroneous form of a-, from Anglo-Saxon ā-. See ad-.
  • noun A prefix in some words of Arabic origin, being the Arabic definite article “the”; as in alcaid, alchemy, alcohol, alcove, Aldebaran, algebra, alguazil, alkali, Alkoran, etc.; and, variously disguised, in apricot, artichoke, assagai, azimuth, hazard, lute, etc.; also el, as in elixir.
  • noun In bridal, burial, etc., a nominal suffix, associated with -al, but actually of different origin, according to the history of each word. See the etymologies of the words cited.
  • noun A nominal prefix, actually a reduction of alcohol in certain arbitrary formations, as aldehyde (and its numerous recent derivatives), *althionic, etc. Compare -al. Compare alk- in words like alkamine, etc. (where alk- represents G. alkohol), and -ol, representing the last syllable of alcohol.
  • noun In chem., a termination now recognized as signifying that the body named is an aldehyde, or derived from alcohol. Thus ordinary aldehyde is also called ethanal, that is, the aldehyde of ethane.
  • noun The name is applied in India to several species of Morinda, especially to Morinda citrifolia and M. tinctoria, trees belonging to the madder family, which grow spontaneously and are also cultivated for the sake of the dye obtained from the bark of their roots and stem. The smallest roots yield the most valuable dye, the stem the most inferior. The al dye is gradually supplanting the more expensive red obtained from the Indian madder, or chaya root (Oldenlandia umbellata), with which the celebrated Madras handkerchiefs and turbans were formerly dyed. Morinda citrifolia, the principal al-tree, is widely spread throughout the East Indies, the west coast of Africa, and the islands of the Pacific Ocean, where its fruit is sometimes eaten by the natives. See nonu.
  • noun A very common suffix, of Latin origin.
  • noun manual
  • noun etc.: in this use equivalent to -ar, of the same ultimate origin, as in alar, polar, both forms occurring with a differentiation of meaning in lineal, linear (which see).
  • noun Secondary from primary adjectives, as in equal
  • noun whence in English -al is now applied to Latin adjectives ending in -e-us, -i-us, -u-us, -rn-us, -i-s, -ic-us, etc., to give them a distinctive English form, as in aerial, senatorial, perpetual, eternal, celestial, medical, etc., and similarly to Greek adjectives in -ικ-ός, -ακ-ός, -οειδ-ής (English -ic, -ac, -oid), etc., as in musical, heliacal, rhomboidal, etc.; hence in some cases a differentiation of meaning, as in comic and comical, historic and historical, etc.
  • noun Nouns from such adjectives, as in animal, rival, etc.
  • noun Nouns from verbs in English after the analogy of espousal, as in denial, proposal, refusal, etc., and even from native English verbs, as in bestowal, betrothal, withdrawal, etc.
  • noun A plant of the genus Morinda, allied to the madder.
  • noun An old form of all.
  • noun In chem., the symbol for aluminium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun metrology Symbol for the attoliter (attolitre), an SI unit of fluid measure equal to 10−18 liters (litres).
  • noun The Indian mulberry, especially as used to make dye.

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

  • noun a state in the southeastern United States on the Gulf of Mexico; one of the Confederate states during the American Civil War
  • noun a silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Hindi.

Examples

  • -- Pero el otro ... ¡al otro, al pobre _Risas_, lo mataron a (p66) golpes y lo hicieron pedazos con las uñas!

    Novelas Cortas

  • This practice spread to the rest of the country in the late 19th century, and the term al dente, or cooked “to the tooth,” appeared after World War I.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • This practice spread to the rest of the country in the late 19th century, and the term al dente, or cooked “to the tooth,” appeared after World War I.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • The subliminal message from AQAP is that new recruits don't need to seek military training in Pakistan or Yemen to score a hit against the "far enemy," the phrase al Qaeda uses for the U.S. and other Western countries.

    As al Qaeda Adapts Its Tactics, Threat From Splinter Groups Persists

  • World War II brought Hitler as the monster; cartoonists now give it the label al Qaeda, Iran or Iraq.

    In the Lab Late One Night

  • MARTIN BRIGHT, "THE OBSERVER": I think it's always tempting to use the term al Qaeda.

    CNN Transcript Jan 10, 2003

  • During a pretrial hearing last month, Abdulmutallab muttered "Osama's alive" to some spectators as he was brought into the courtroom and mumbled "jihad" when the judge used the phrase "al Qaeda" as she read the charges against him.

    Reuters: Press Release

  • Abdulmutallab, who muttered "Osama's alive" to some spectators as he was brought into the courtroom, mumbled "jihad" when Judge Edmunds used the name "al Qaeda" as she read the charges against him to the jury.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • During a pretrial hearing last month, Abdulmutallab muttered "Osama's alive" to some spectators as he was brought into the courtroom and mumbled "jihad" when the judge used the phrase "al Qaeda" as she read the charges against him.

    Reuters: Top News

  • The Spanish equivalent of the perfect fit, the term al puro tiro refers to the exact instep patterns needed for haute bootmaking.

    Houston Press | Complete Issue

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Al. Chemical element symbol for Aluminum.

    December 16, 2007

  • You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon

    February 9, 2008

  • Best pop piccolo solo ever.

    February 10, 2008

  • Can you replace "Best" with "Only"?

    February 12, 2008

  • Actually, I'm not sure. Depends on your definition of pop music.

    February 13, 2008

  • Peter Schickele wrote music for the dill piccolo.

    February 13, 2008

  • I *love* P.D.Q. Bach!!! How do you play a dill piccolo?

    February 14, 2008

  • That sounds just like the setup for a joke. :-)

    February 14, 2008

  • But I really do want to know! Do you just...this is so unfair! Now I can't ask the question. ARGH!!!

    February 14, 2008

  • Dang. I was busy all day and I missed a great straight line. Now it's too late...

    February 14, 2008