Alack – Definition & Meaning

Alack is a word that has been used for centuries in the English language, but it is not as commonly used today as it was in the past. Despite its decline in usage, alack still has a place in the English language, and it is important to understand its meaning and origin.


Alack is an interjection that is used to express regret or disappointment. It is often used to express sympathy or sorrow for someone or something. The word is also used to express surprise or shock.


The word alack has its roots in Middle English and Old English. It is derived from the phrase “alas lac,” which means “alas lack.” The word “alas” was used to express sorrow or regret, while “lack” meant “to be without.” Over time, the two words were combined to form the word “alack.”

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, alack is an interjection used to express regret, sorrow, or disappointment. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines alack as an archaic word used to express regret, sorrow, or dismay.


Alack is often associated with older English literature and poetry. It is also associated with a more formal and archaic style of speaking.


There are several synonyms for alack, including alas, woe, regretfully, and unfortunately.


There are no true antonyms for alack, as it is an interjection used to express a specific emotion.

The same root words

The root words of alack are “alas” and “lack.” These words are still used in the English language today, although they are not as common as they once were.

Example Sentences

  1. Alack, I wish I had studied harder for that test.
  2. Alack, the poor child has lost his mother.
  3. Alack, I fear we may have made a mistake.
  4. Alack, I cannot believe my eyes!.
  5. Alack, I am sorry to hear that you are feeling unwell.
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