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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Alate \A*late"\, adv. [Pref. a- + late.] Lately; of late. [Archaic]

There hath been alate such tales spread abroad.


Alate \A"late\, Alated \A"la*ted\, a. [L. alatus, from ala wing.] Winged; having wings, or side appendages like wings.


Etymology 1 a. (context entomology botany English) Having winglike extensions or parts; winged. n. A winged, reproductive form of several social insects. Etymology 2

adv. (context archaic English) recently; lately; of late.


adj. having winglike extensions; "alate leaves"; "alate seeds of a maple tree" [syn: alated]


Alate is an adjective that refers to wings or winglike structures. In entomology it usually refers to the winged form of a social insect, especially ants or termites, though can also be applied to aphids and some thrips. Alate females are typically those destined to become gynes (queens), whereas alate males are occasionally referred to as "drones" (or "kings", in the case of termites). However, the existence of reproductives that do not have wings (e.g., ergatoid queens and gamergates) necessitates a term to distinguish the winged from the wingless reproductive forms. This is an example of polymorphism associated with eusociality. A "dealate" is an adult insect that shed or lost its wings ("dealation").

In botany alate refers to winglike structures on some seeds that use wind dispersal or it may be used to describe flattened ridges which run longtitudianally on stems.

Usage examples of "alate".

Peru with only a few savage tribes as neighbors, savages who look upon the alate as gods of some sort and have no intercourse with the white men.

Healthy people are not prone to become diseased and the alate were healthy without a doubt.

But Doctor Morris saved her as he had saved many mothers, and we were both to look with joy and pride on the most perfect specimen of alate babyhood.

There are three dozen male and female alates in the chambers near the Queen.