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à la

In the manner or style of something or someone else. The phrase is a shortened form of the French à la mode de, meaning "in the manner of." The lead actor delivered hilarious slapstick à la The Three Stooges, but also had a grace and charm that was irresistible.
See also: la


1. Struck dumb, insensible, or motionless with fear or confusion. His speech was full of such fire and anger that I was rendered all-a-mort for a few moments afterward.
2. In a dying or half-dead state; depressed or dejected, as in one who feels half dead. Possibly a corruption of "alamort," meaning the same, or a reference to a "mort," the sound from a hunter's horn to signal the death of an animal being hunted. I'm all-a-mort these past two days; I know not if I shall live beyond the week.

avant la lettre

Before something (a word, phrase, name, or specific entity, especially that which is anachronistic) was coined or created. From the French meaning "before the letter." So-called "hipsters" have always existed avant la lettre, but it's only in the last few decades that we've attempted to create a label for them.
See also: avant, la

crème de la crème

Of a person or a thing, the very best of a similar group or type. Literally translated from French as "cream of the cream." This car is the crème de la crème of luxury vehicles. Janet is the crème de la crème of photographers.
See also: crème, DE, la

à la carte

Available to be purchased individually instead of bundled with other items. Most often describes items on a menu that are not part of a main dish. I wasn't very hungry, so I opted to buy a few side items à la carte instead of a full meal.
See also: carte, la

à la mode

1. Served with ice cream. My favorite dessert is apple pie à la mode.
2. Very fashionable. Big shoulder pads were à la mode in the 1980s, but most people now would not dare to wear them.
See also: la, mode

c'est la vie

Oh well. This French phrase, meaning "that's life," indicates resignation and acceptance of something that one dislikes but cannot change. I know you're annoyed to have gotten another parking ticket, but c'est la vie. I had hoped to get home early enough to cook dinner, but that didn't happen, so we ordered pizza instead—c'est la vie.
See also: la, vie

plus ça change (plus c'est la même chose)

From French, meaning "the more things change, the more they remain the same." In English, the phrase is used in reference to situations or problems that remain the same, even when people or things involved in them are different. We move into a fancy new office, and still, the server crashes all the time. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Plus ça change, eh? Even with Mr 'Give Back to the Working Class' in office, it's still the wealthy elite getting all the tax breaks.
See also: ca, change, la, meme, plus


1. adjective Pretentiously snobbish or elitist. I'd rather not go to some la-di-da restaurant and get overpriced rabbit food. Let's just get pizza.
2. interjection A sarcastic and derisive phrase meant to mock what one perceives as pretentious or overly refined. Well, la-di-da, look at Mr. Fancy in his new suit. Wow, you were on student council? La-di-da!

à la

Like, in the manner of, as in He hoped to break all records, à la Babe Ruth. This expression, an abbreviation of the French à la mode de (for "in the manner of"), has been used in English since the late 1500s.
See also: la

la-la land

1. Los Angeles, California (often abbreviated L.A.). This expression pokes fun at the alleged eccentricities of the city's inhabitants. For example, What do you expect? Frederick has lived in la-la land for ten years and it has rubbed off on him . [Slang; c. 1980]
2. A state of being out of touch with reality, as in I don't know what's going on with Amy-she seems to be in la-la land. [Slang; c. 1980] Also see cloud-cuckoo land; never-never land.
See also: land

the ˌcrème de la ˈcrème

(from French, formal or humorous) the best people or things of their kind: This university takes only the crème de la crème of school leavers.Naturally, only the crème de la crème have been invited to the wedding.
See also: crème, DE, la

cherchez la femme

This French phrase that translates as “look for a woman,” originated with the elder Alexandre Dumas in his novel The Mohicans of Paris. Its meaning is that unusual male behavior can often be traced to involvement with a female. For example, countless generations of adolescent boys who never paid attention to their wardrobe or personal grooming suddenly became interested in clothing fashions. They washed their face and combed their hair without being told to, and spent hours chatting on the telephone (now a computer or handheld device) with the classic teenage boy's dreamy/dopey look on their face. Their parents would regard the phenomenon with a knowing and bemused expression as they told each other, “cherchez la femme.”
See also: femme, la
References in periodicals archive ?
4 million square feet of space at one of the world's largest meeting facilities, the Las Vegas Convention Center.
I don't know technically if Las Lomas is alive or dead.
Hirata dice que rechazo la oferta del minarista estadaunidense Wal-Mart de vender las sandalias.
Majestic Resorts: Lorenzo Doumani, CEO of Majestic Resorts, is a native of Las Vegas.
Goretti Ortiz, a parish member of Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Moorpark and an experienced organizer of Las Posadas events, gave cultural and practical advice.
La amplia familia de productos de almacenamiento automatizado en red de EMC cubre todo el rango de necesidades de precio/performance, disponibilidad y administracion de las redes de almacenamiento o SAN (Storage Area Networks), almacenamiento NAS (Network Attached Storage) y almacenamiento CAS (almacenamiento direccionable por contenido).
The resort-casino, to be called Wynn Las Vegas, will occupy the site where the Desert Inn once stood - and, more important, will incorporate the Desert Inn's adjacent golf course into its layout.
Cuando se apruebe oficialmente el tratamiento con celulas madre--y esperamos que eso ocurra en un ano en el caso de los pacientes en etapa final-- la demanda de esta terapia aumentara y necesitaremos companias especializadas en procesar las celulas madre y enviarlas a los hospitales", dice Radovan Borojevic, profesor de la Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro que proceso celulas madre adultas para la prueba.
Pese a la escasez de efectivo, los negocios y los individuos usan tretas para eludir el corralito, como se llama a la congelacion de los ahorros bancarios.
The Regent Las Vegas initially targeted leisure travelers, but after plunging into red ink in the wake of its balky opening in 1999, it shifted its focus to the local market, to the consternation of its shareholders.
This particular event will bring color and excitement to downtown Las Vegas like never before," said Bradley Yonover, who is a partner with Jensen in DDB Ventures, the company that owns the event.
Se calcula que en el primer ano del acuerdo, las exportaciones llegaran a 140,000 vehiculos, con un arancel del 1.
It caused Las Vegas to go in the right direction, to provide a deeper, richer experience for the visitor,'' Wynn, chairman of Mirage Resorts Inc.
LAS VEGAS -- New Web Site Offers Rider Information and Las Vegas Entertainment Options
Consider it Las Vegas' business model for the coming months.