noun, plural al·oes.
- any chiefly African shrub belonging to the genus Aloe, of the lily family, certain species of which yield a fiber.
- aloe vera.
- century plant.
- aloes, (used with a singular verb) agalloch.
- the fragrant, resinous wood of an East Indian tree, Aquilaria agallocha, of the mezereum family, used as incense in Asia.
noun (functioning as singular)
- Also called: aloes wood another name for eaglewood
- bitter aloes a bitter purgative drug made from the leaves of several species of aloe
- another name for eaglewood
noun plural -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
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.
- 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.
- Aloe vera.
- Any of various laxative drugs obtained from the processed juice of a certain species of aloe.