: a genus (coextensive with the family Clethraceae) of deciduous shrubs or trees with stellate pubescence and capsular fruits of three locules see sweet pepperbush, white alder

Word History


New Latin, from Greek klēthra alder; akin to German (Tirolese dialect) lutter green alder (Alnus viridis)

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near Clethra

Cite this Entry

“Clethra.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!