Alarums and excursions

(especially in Elizabethan drama) military action, as representative fragments of a battle, sound effects of trumpets, or clash of arms: used as a stage direction.
any noisy, frantic, or disorganized activity.


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  • Alary

    of or relating to wings. Biology. having the form of a wing; wing-shaped. Historical Examples The alary process of the premaxillary is vertical and concave posteriorly. The Systematics of the Frogs of the Hyla Rubra Group in Middle America Juan R. Len alary: relating to the wings: applied also to the wing muscles of heart. […]

  • Alas

    (used as an exclamation to express sorrow, grief, pity, concern, or apprehension of evil.) . I sustain the wings: motto of the U.S. Air Force. Contemporary Examples Then there is that translucent physical beauty of Natasha’s, which, alas, almost upstaged her. Writers and Actors Recall Her Life Isabel Wilkinson March 18, 2009 He wore a […]

  • Alas, poor yorick!

    alas, poor yorick! Words from the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. Hamlet says this in a graveyard as he meditates upon the skull of Yorick, a court jester he had known and liked as a child. Hamlet goes on to say that though “my lady” may put on “paint [make-up] an inch thick, to this […]

  • Alaska

    a state of the United States in NW North America. 586,400 sq. mi. (1,519,000 sq. km). Capital: Juneau. Abbreviation: AK (for use with zip code), Alas. Gulf of, a gulf of the Pacific, on the coast of S Alaska. Contemporary Examples Apparently the the March 2006 Prudhoe Bay oil spill, the worst in Alaska’s state […]

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