from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various deciduous shrubs or trees of the genus Alnus, native chiefly to northern temperate regions and having alternate simple toothed leaves and tiny fruits in woody, conelike catkins.
  • n. The wood of these plants, used in carvings and for making furniture and cabinets.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several trees or shrubs of the genus Alnus, belonging to the birch family.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of all; -- used in composition.
  • n. A tree, usually growing in moist land, and belonging to the genus Alnus. The wood is used by turners, etc.; the bark by dyers and tanners. In the U. S. the species of alder are usually shrubs or small trees.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • The Middle English genitive plural of all.
  • n. The popular name of shrubs and trees belonging to the genus Alnus, natural order Cupuliferæ.
  • n. A name of species of other widely different genera, from their resemblance to true alders.
  • n. An old form of elder.
  • n. A shrub of the genus Fothergilla, of the southeastern United States.
  • n. Alnus rhombifolia, of the western United States.
  • n. The striped maple, Acer Pennsylvanicum.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. north temperate shrubs or trees having toothed leaves and conelike fruit; bark is used in tanning and dyeing and the wood is rot-resistant
  • n. wood of any of various alder trees; resistant to underwater rot; used for bridges etc


Middle English, from Old English alor.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English alder, aller, from Old English alor, from Proto-Germanic *aluz, *alusō (compare Swedish al, East Frisian ällerboom), variant of *alizō, *alisō (compare Dutch els, German Erle), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂élisos (compare Hittite alanza(n), Latin alnus, Latvian àlksnis, Polish olcha, Albanian halë 'black pine', Ancient Macedonian (Hesychius) άλιχα (álicha, "white poplar") (Wiktionary)


  • Clad in alder wood, the sauna is available in three sizes, starting at around $30,000 for the 200 sq-ft model plus shipping and assembly.

    PREFAB FRIDAY: The SeaSauna | Inhabitat

  • He arose to stir the sap and pour more from the barrels to the kettles before he began on the tag alder he had gathered.

    The Harvester

  • Our alders also are mere bushes, while the European alder is a full-sized tree, tall as their elms or beeches.

    Rural Hours

  • Common Names: The common name alder is derived from an old Germanic root.

    Find Me A Cure

  • [2] Dominic snagged his backcast on a tag alder as he yelled ashore to his fishing genie: "I said I sure wish I had brought SPAWN to the river!"

    Field & Stream -

  • But, the three-term alder added, she can't imagine how tough it must be for those who have families and work a full-time day job. - top

  • Wildlife photographer (and whitetail expert) Charles Alsheimer (charlesalsheimer. com) was stalking through a tag alder swamp with his camera when he came across this buck about to begin peeling the velvet from its antlers.

    Wildlife Photos: How a Buck Sheds Antler Velvet

  • Guncotton, a component in artillery shells, can be made from tag alder, a trash tree that grows wild around here.

    Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

  • The alder, which is produced close by river banks, and which seems to be altogether useless as building material, has really excellent qualities.

    The Ten Books on Architecture

  • And more than any other tree the alder is the familiar companion of the angler.

    Lines in Pleasant Places Being the Aftermath of an Old Angler

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