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[awl-der] /ˈɔl dər/
any shrub or tree belonging to the genus Alnus, of the birch family, growing in moist places in northern temperate or colder regions and having toothed, simple leaves and flowers in catkins.
any of various trees or shrubs resembling an alder.
Origin of alder
before 900; Middle English alder, aller, Old English alor, al(e)r; cognate with Old Norse ǫlr, Middle Low German al(l)er < Germanic *álusṓ; akin to Middle High German alze < Germanic *alū́sō, Old High German elira, erila (German Erle) < Germanic *álisṓ, Middle Low German els(e) < Germanic *alísō, hence Germanic *álus, alísō; compare Polish olcha, Russian olʾkhá < Indo-European dialect *alisā; Lithuanian al̃ksnis, Latin alnus < Indo-European dialect *alsnos


[ahl-der; German ahl-duh r] /ˌɑl dər; German ˈɑl dər/
Kurt [kurt;; German koo rt] /kɜrt;; German kʊərt/ (Show IPA), 1902–58, German chemist: Nobel Prize 1950. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for alder
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She led the way silently until they reached a thick copse of birch and alder near the strand.

    Tales From Two Hemispheres Hjalmar Hjorth Boysen
  • When the pail was full, Mr. alder poured some into a shiny can, and took the rest to the dairy.

    Clematis Bertha B. Cobb
  • There was an alder, ivy-grown, beside the stream—a tree with those lines which take an artist's fancy.

    Field and Hedgerow Richard Jefferies
  • Mrs. alder took a lamp as she spoke, and led the little visitor to the stairs.

    Clematis Bertha B. Cobb
  • He had pitched his camp at the edge of a thicket of alder and aspen near a narrow stream of water in a big arroyo.

    Square Deal Sanderson Charles Alden Seltzer
  • Mrs. alder gave her a cookie for her pay, and said she had done very well.

    Clematis Bertha B. Cobb
  • When they had gone about a mile, they found a spot where the river had set back over the bank, freezing in some alder bushes.

    Shaggycoat Clarence Hawkes
  • She helped Mrs. alder too, for she went on errands to the village every time she was asked.

    Clematis Bertha B. Cobb
  • Mr. alder told him who she was, while Clematis was looking at the neat little cottage.

    Clematis Bertha B. Cobb
British Dictionary definitions for alder


any N temperate betulaceous shrub or tree of the genus Alnus, having toothed leaves and conelike fruits. The bark is used in dyeing and tanning and the wood for bridges, etc because it resists underwater rot
any of several similar trees or shrubs
Word Origin
Old English alor; related to Old High German elira, Latin alnus
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
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Word Origin and History for alder

tree related to the birch, Old English alor "alder" (with intrusive -d- added 14c.; the historical form aller survived until 18c. in literary English and persists in dialects, e.g. Lancashire owler, which is partly from Norse), from Proto-Germanic *aliso (cf. Old Norse ölr, Danish elle, Swedish al, Dutch els, German erle), from *el-, the ancient PIE name of the tree (cf. Russian olicha, Polish olcha, Latin alnus, Lithuanian alksnis).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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alder in Medicine

Alder Al·der (äl'dər), Kurt. 1902-1958.

German chemist. He shared a 1950 Nobel Prize for discoveries concerning the structure of organic matter.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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