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aloe

[al-oh]
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noun, plural al·oes.
  1. any chiefly African shrub belonging to the genus Aloe, of the lily family, certain species of which yield a fiber.
  2. aloe vera.
  3. century plant.
  4. aloes, (used with a singular verb) agalloch.
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Origin of aloe

before 950; Middle English alōe, alow, alewen; Old English al(u)we, alewe (compare Old Saxon, Old High German āloê) < Latin aloē < Greek alóē, perhaps < South Asia via Hebrew
Related formsal·o·et·ic [al-oh-et-ik] /ˌæl oʊˈɛt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aloe

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Now the aloe, you know, is of a cumbersome height for a supper ornament.

  • It had no gate but a gap in the fence, and no fence but a hedge of the prickly pear and the aloe.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

  • You know what happens to the aloe, sir, when it has flowered?

    Fraternity

    John Galsworthy

  • The American aloe, from which cordage is made; similar to the piña of Manila.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • Near the top were laid sandal, aloe, and other kinds of fragrant wood.


British Dictionary definitions for aloe

aloe

noun plural -oes
  1. any plant of the liliaceous genus Aloe, chiefly native to southern Africa, with fleshy spiny-toothed leaves and red or yellow flowers
  2. American aloe another name for century plant
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Derived Formsaloetic (ˌæləʊˈɛtɪk), adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Latin aloē, from Greek
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for aloe

n.

Old English alewe "fragrant resin of an East Indian tree," a Biblical usage, from Latin aloe, from Greek aloe, translating Hebrew ahalim (plural, perhaps ultimately from a Dravidian language).

The Greek word probably was chosen for resemblance of sound to the Hebrew, because the Greek and Latin words referred originally to a genus of plants with spiky flowers and bitter juice, used as a purgative drug, a sense which appeared in English late 14c. The word was then misapplied to the American agave plant in 1680s. The "true aloe" consequently is called aloe vera.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

aloe in Medicine

aloe

(ălō)
n.
  1. Any of various chiefly African plants of the genus Aloe, having rosettes of succulent, often spiny-margined leaves and long stalks bearing yellow, orange, or red tubular flowers.
  2. Aloe vera.
  3. Any of various laxative drugs obtained from the processed juice of a certain species of aloe.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.