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The Collaborative International Dictionary

ala \a"la\ ([=a]"l[.a]), n.; pl. Al[ae] ([=a]"l[=e]). [L., a wing.] (Biol.) A winglike organ, or part.


Etymology 1 n. 1 (context zoology English) A wing or winglike structure. 2 (context anatomy English) A winglike anatomy process or part, especially of bone. 3 (context botany English) The flattened border of some stems, fruits, and seeds, or one of the two side petals of certain flowers in the pea family. 4 (context architecture English) In ancient Rome, a small room opening into a larger room or courtyard. Etymology 2

prep. (context colloquial English) (alternative form of a la English)

  1. n. a flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism; "the alae of the nose"; "the alae of a maple seed"; "the flat petals of a pea blossom are alae"

  2. a wing of an insect

  3. [also: alae (pl)]



Ala (Roman allied military unit)

An Ala ( Latin for "wing", plural form: alae) was the term used during the mid- Roman Republic (338-88 BC) to denote a military formation composed of conscripts from the socii, Rome's Italian military allies. A normal consular army during this period consisted of 2 legions, composed of Roman citizens only, and 2 allied alae. Alae were somewhat larger than normal legions (ca. 5,400 v. ca. 4,500 men). From the time of the first Roman emperor, Augustus (ruled 30 BC - AD 14), the term ala was used in the professional imperial army to denote a much smaller (ca. 500), purely cavalry unit of the non-citizen auxilia corps, see Ala (Roman cavalry unit).

Ala (odinani)

Ala (also known as Ani, Ana, Ale, and Ali in varying Igbo dialects) is the female Alusi (deity) of the earth, morality, fertility and creativity in Odinani. She is the most important Alusi in the Igbo pantheon. In Odinani, Ala rules over the underworld, and holds the deceased ancestors in her womb. Her name literally translates to 'Ground' in the Igbo language, denoting her powers over the earth and her status as the ground itself. Ala is considered the highest Alusi in the Igbo pantheon. Ala's husband is Amadioha, the sky deity.

As the goddess of morality, Ala is involved in judging human actions and is in charge of Igbo law and customs known as ' Omenala'. Taboos and crimes among Igbo communities that are against the standard of Ala are called nsọ Ala. All ground is considered 'Holy land' as it is Ala herself. With human fertility, Ala is credited for the productivity of the land. Ala's messenger and living agent on earth is the python (Igbo: éké), which is especially revered in many Igbo communities. In art, Ala is often represented as a regal figure seated on a throne, surrounded by her family. In the past, such figures took the form of life-size mud sculptures in special festive shrines dedicated to the deity and known as Mbari.

Ala (demon)

An ala or hala (plural: ale or hali) is a female mythological creature recorded in the folklore of Bulgarians, Macedonians, and Serbs. Ale are considered demons of bad weather whose main purpose is to lead hail-producing thunderclouds in the direction of fields, vineyards, or orchards to destroy the crops, or loot and take them away. Extremely voracious, ale particularly like to eat children, though their gluttony is not limited to Earth. It is believed they sometimes try devouring the Sun or the Moon, causing eclipses, and that it would mean the end of the world should they succeed. When people encounter an ala, their mental or physical health, or even life, are in peril; however, her favor can be gained by approaching her with respect and trust. Being in a good relationship with an ala is very beneficial, because she makes her favorites rich and saves their lives in times of trouble.

The appearance of an ala is diversely and often vaguely described in folklore. A given ala may look like a black wind, a gigantic creature of indistinct form, a huge-mouthed, humanlike, or snakelike monster, a female dragon, or a raven. An ala may also assume various human or animal shapes, and can even possess a person's body. It is believed that the diversity of appearances described is due to the ala's being a synthesis of a Slavic demon of bad weather and a similar demon of the central Balkans pre-Slavic population. In folk tales with a humanlike ala, her personality is similar to that of the Russian Baba Yaga. Ale are said to live in the clouds, or in a lake, spring, hidden remote place, forest, inhospitable mountain, cave, or gigantic tree. While ale are usually hostile towards humans, they do have other powerful enemies that can defeat them, like dragons. In Christianized tales, St. Elijah takes the dragons' role, but in some cases the saint and the dragons fight ale together. Eagles are also regarded as defenders against ale, chasing them away from fields and thus preventing them from bringing hail clouds overhead.

Usage examples of "ala".

The undefeated hosts of Tlapallan, the terrible disciplined array that conquered the irregular scattered tribes of Alata and stole the best lands in a continent!

Today we remember the Lord of the Wind and how his magic aided us all, both you of Alata and we Romans shipwrecked upon your shores.

Gulf Stream caught it and hurried it on, away from Alata, away from his homeland and away from the island of death.

In order that they might still continue to live and enjoy life as fully as possible, an island off the coast of Alata was set apart for them.

He motioned furtively to the Abenaki, in the almost universal sign language common to all nations of polyglot Alata, that he was to keep silent.

Remembering tomb mounds of Alata, in the valley of the Onion, and the traps set there for robbers, he felt his way step by cautious step.

Gwalchmai to tell the King of Alata, so that if the worst should come this tiny remnant of the people Merlin and King Arthur had striven so hard to protect might in the end be able to take ship and find a refuge across the sea.

Surely, with such tremendous power and influence, he might be the man to inform of the existence of Alata and so be discharged of his mission at last.

East, called a Crusade, to the certain benefits available in the West, which knowledge about the twin continents of Alata and Atala only he could impart to the man who gave imperious orders to Kings and Emperors.

Perhaps he would like to be sovereign over Alata if the Christians of Europe do not want it.

Christian Emperor to help him to return to Alata and to accept the country as a part of a holy realm.

Beyond that tossing waste of water he knew Alata lay and although he realized that the centuries of his life had brought inevitable change, he was filled with such a longing for the land of his birth that it seemed his heart would burst.

Finally, in despair, he bluntly brought up the subject of Alata, Merlin, and his own mission.

He could send colonists to this land of Alata, to take and hold it for the glory of Our Lord.

He seemed no nearer than ever to accomplishing his impossible mission of turning over the continent of Alata to a Christian monarch.