• WordNet 3.6
    • n alula tuft of small stiff feathers on the first digit of a bird's wing
    • n alula scalelike structure between the base of the wing and the halter of a two-winged fly
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Alula (Zoöl) A false or bastard wing. See under Bastard.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • alula In ornithology, the winglet, bastard wing, or ala spuria of a bird; the packet of small feathers which grows upon the so-called thumb of a bird's wing. The feathers are rather stiff, resembling primaries to some extent, but always smaller, and contribute to the smoothness and evenness of the border of the wing.
    • alula In entomology: The small membranous appendage or scale situated at the base of each wing of many dipterous insects, above the halteres or poisers.
    • alula A similar appendage beneath each elytron of some water-beetles. Also called alulet and cucilleron.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., dim. of L. ala, a wing


In literature:

Aileron: the scale covering the base of primaries in some insects; see tegulae in Diptera = alula and squama, q.v.
"Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology" by John. B. Smith
The Abyssinian heads were paraded and said to be those of Eas Alula, Eas Mariam, and Saleh Shanga; but this was not true.
"Ten Years' Captivity in the Mahdi's Camp 1882-1892" by F. R. Wingate
Ras Alula beat a hurried retreat, leaving the camp in the hands of his enemies.
"Fire and Sword in the Sudan" by Rudolf C. Slatin
On the 25th of January 1887 Ras Alula attacked Saati, but was repulsed with loss.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 15, Slice 1" by Various

In poetry:

She will lie here, a ghost of their delight,
Their lucent stems all ashen gray,
Their purples fallen into pulvil white,
Dull as the bluebird's alula.
"The Violet Pressed In A Copy Of Shakespeare" by Duncan Campbell Scott