Definition of alack in English:


(also alack-a-day)


  • Used to express regret or dismay.

    • ‘But, alas and alack… no willing extra hands around.’
    • ‘For, alas and alack, or some such, the carefully tuned brand new design that seemed perfectly acceptable on the old exhausted monitor looks really, really crummy on one that shows colour properly.’
    • ‘I'd like to celebrate some of the salient contributors to our durance and, alack, I'm sure to forget or miss mentioning some, and for that, I apologize in advance.’
    • ‘Alas, and alack, I was a few seconds too late and I will miss Percy a great deal.’
    • ‘Alas, alack, and the other grievous sentiments; I cannot ‘cry over spilled milk’ as they say.’
    • ‘Alas and alack, the report hasn't seemed to capture anyone's imagination, if the Sun's letters page is any indication, and maybe that shouldn't come as a surprise.’
    • ‘Alas and alack, I still owe LeeAnn a drink and a chat.’


Late Middle English: probably from ah + lack.