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From Middle English weylawey, from Old English weg-lā-weg, alteration of wā lā wā, with substitution of Old Norse vei for Old English . Compare wellawo, weila.




  1. (chiefly archaic, literary) Expression of sadness, regret, remorse, etc., alas, "woe"!
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.vi:
      Crying with pitteous voice, and count'nance wan; / Ah well away, most noble Lords, how can / Your cruell eyes endure so pitteous sight [...]?
    • 2013, Anonymous, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a, Simon and Schuster (→ISBN)
      Replied the Angel, "Wellaway! Wellaway! this may be in no way." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Four Hundred and Sixtyfourth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious ...
    • 1920, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning: With Two Prose Essays, page 292:
      Wellaway, wellaway, ah, wellaway! ' As ocean beat the stone, did she her breast, 'Ah, wellaway! . . ah me ! alas, ah me !' Such sighing uttered she. ii A Cloud spake out of heaven, as soft as rain That falls on water, — ' Lo, The Winds have ...


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