Pronunciation: (al), [key]
a male given name: form of Albert, Alfred, Aloysius.
form of à la used for either gender before a vowel or h.
var. of ad- before l: allure.
a word in Arabic names meaning “family” or “the house of ”: Al-Saud, or the members of the house of Saud.
a suffix with the general sense “of the kind of, pertaining to, having the form or character of” that named by the stem, occurring in loanwords from Latin (autumnal; natural; pastoral), and productive in English on the Latin model, usually with bases of Latin origin (accidental; seasonal; tribal). Originally, -al1 was restricted to stems not containing an -l- (cf. -ar1 ); recent lapses in this rule have produced semantically distinct pairs, as familiar and familial. Cf. -ical, ial.
a suffix forming nouns from verbs, usually verbs of French or Latin origin: denial; refusal.
Chem.a suffix indicating that a compound contains an aldehyde group: chloral.
1. Alabama (approved esp. for use with zip code).
1. other things.
2. other persons.
1. Baseball.American League.
2. American Legion.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.