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.


  1. the fragrant, resinous wood of an East Indian tree, Aquilaria agallocha, of the mezereum family, used as incense in Asia.

noun (functioning as singular)

  1. Also called: aloes wood another name for eaglewood
  2. bitter aloes a bitter purgative drug made from the leaves of several species of aloe


  1. another name for eaglewood

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

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.


  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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