- any of a large genus (Aloe) of plants of the lily family, native to Africa, with fleshy leaves that are spiny along the edge and with drooping clusters of tubular, red or yellow flowers
- a bitter, laxative drug made from the juice of certain aloe leaves
- the aromatic heartwood of several trees of a genus (Aquilaria) of the mezereum family, native to the East Indies and Southeast Asia
Origin of aloeMiddle English ; from Classical Latin ; from Classical Greek alo? ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Classical Hebrew (language) ahalim, plural of ahal, aloe wood ; from Sanskrit agaru
- 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.
- See aloe vera.
- aloes (used with a sing. verb)a. A laxative drug obtained from the processed juice of certain species of aloe. Also called bitter aloes.b. See aloeswood.
Origin of aloeMiddle English, from Old English aluwe, from Latin alo&emacron;, from Greek. Sense 3b, ultimately from Late Greek alo&emacron;, aloe, aloeswood, from confusion of Greek alo&emacron;, aloe with Greek agalokhon, aloeswood, influenced by Hebrew ’ah&amacron;lôt, an aromatic, probably aloeswood.
- (in the plural) The resins of the trees Aquilaria agallocha and Aquilaria malaccensis, known for their fragrant aroma.
- (botany) A plant of the genus Aloe.
- A strong, bitter drink made from the juice of such plants, used as a purgative.
- Often used in plural (originally under influence of Old French).
From Old English alwe (“fragrant resin of an East Indian tree”), from Latin aloē, from Ancient Greek ἀλόη (aloē, “aloes”), from Hebrew אֲהָלִים, ultimately from a Dravidian language; reinforced in Middle English by Old French aloes.