Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • interjection Used to express sorrow, regret, grief, compassion, or apprehension of danger or evil.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • An exclamation expressive of sorrow, grief, pity, concern, or apprehension of evil: in old writers sometimes followed by the day or the while: as, alas the day, alas the while. See alackaday.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • interjection An exclamation expressive of sorrow, pity, or apprehension of evil; -- in old writers, sometimes followed by day or white; alas the day, like alack a day, or alas the white.

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

  • interjection Used to express sorrow, regret, compassion or grief.

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

  • adverb by bad luck

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French a las, helas, ah (I am) miserable, from Latin lassus, weary; see lē- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French a las (French hélas), from a ("ah") + las, from Latin lassus ("weary").

Examples

Comments

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  • Not to mention alack.

    December 12, 2007

  • Down! (=Finnish) as you would say to a dog, for example. Or to an eager admirer in a bar, around the wee hours.

    March 5, 2009

  • Particularly an eager, admiring dog.

    March 5, 2009

  • To an eager, admiring dog I usually say 'ALAS', with a very low and determined voice. (If you start to laugh - or even worse - giggle after that, you only get your face licked. I hope to God it never happens in a bar with an eager admirer. :o})

    March 5, 2009