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[al-oh] /ˈæl oʊ/
noun, plural aloes.
any chiefly African shrub belonging to the genus Aloe, of the lily family, certain species of which yield a fiber.
aloes, (used with a singular verb) agalloch.
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 forms
[al-oh-et-ik] /ˌæl oʊˈɛt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for aloe
Contemporary Examples
  • Amenities are plentiful—from sun block to aloe for the sun, or the complimentary mini bar for your enjoyment.

    Gal With a Suitcase Jolie Hunt February 19, 2011
Historical Examples
  • There are no walls, but great hedges of aloe and prickly pear serve as a sterner landmark.

    The Isle of Unrest Henry Seton Merriman
  • Now the aloe, you know, is of a cumbersome height for a supper ornament.

  • An aloe plant, a few palm leaves and some alfa grass are thrown together on one spot.

  • 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
  • Among the plants I noticed the American aloe (argave Americana), which is otherwise called maguey.

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

  • This aloe may be ground also in oil by itself, or with the Verdegris, or any other colour, at pleasure.

    A Treatise on Painting Leonardo Da Vinci
  • The quality and goodness of this aloe will be proved by dissolving it in warm Brandy.

    A Treatise on Painting Leonardo Da Vinci
  • The ancient Mexicans before Pizarro's time used the leaves of the aloe for a similar purpose.

    The Pearl of India Maturin M. Ballou
British Dictionary definitions for aloe


noun (pl) -oes
any plant of the liliaceous genus Aloe, chiefly native to southern Africa, with fleshy spiny-toothed leaves and red or yellow flowers
American aloe, another name for century plant
Derived Forms
aloetic (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
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Word Origin and History for aloe

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aloe in Medicine

aloe al·oe (āl'ō)

  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.

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