A course of action that does not deliver any positive results
1997 - New Scientist - The next person looking for the same information has to go through the process all over again - even if 1000 people have already been up the same blind alleys.
Up your alley = Up your street = Right up your alley = Right up your street
Well suited to your tastes, interests or abilities - Informal
A North American variant of this expression is up your alley.
Pass in your ally
Die - Australian informal
In this phrase, an ally is a toy marble made of marble, alabaster or glass.
Round about a specified time or date
North American informal or dialect
1989 - Motor Trend - Along about this time, it had started raining, so they red-flagged the race for a change to rain tires.
Alpha and omega
The beginning and the end
The essence or most important features
Alpha and omega are respectively the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Christians use the phrase as a title for Jesus Christ, taking it from Revelation 1 : 8 : I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord.
1994 - BBC Holidays - At Cambridge... you'll find the alpha and omega of American academic life : historic Harvard and space-age MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Sacrifice someone on the altar of = Sacrifice something on the altar of
Make someone or something suffer in the interests of someone or something else.
1994 - Post Denver - The cherished goal of a color-blind society has been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.
In the altogether
Without any clothes on
Naked - Informal
1991 - Today - The mothers have agreed to pose in the altogether.
As American as apple pie
Typically American in character
1995 - New York Times Magazine - To reward people for something beyond merit is American as apple pie.
The American dream
The ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any
American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved
Behave uncontrollably and disruptively
Amok, formerly also spelt amuck, comes from the Malay word amuk, meaning 'in a homicidal frenzy' in which sense it was first introduced into English in the early 16th century.
1990 - New York Review of Books - Hersh's article is sensationalism run amok. It does no credit to him or to The New York Times Magazine.
In the final analysis
When everything has been considered (used to suggest that the following statement expresses the basic truth about a complex situation).