al·​der | \ ˈȯl-dər How to pronounce alder (audio) \

Definition of alder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of a genus (Alnus) of toothed-leaved trees or shrubs of the birch family that have catkins which become woody, that typically grow in cool moist ground, and that have wood used especially in turnery also : its wood


biographical name
Al·​der | \ ˈäl-dər How to pronounce Alder (audio) \

Definition of Alder (Entry 2 of 2)

Kurt 1902–1958 German chemist

Examples of alder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Solid wood custom doors throughout the home are made from lightly distressed knotty alder. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Newly updated chateau near the beach in Santa Cruz County," 27 Aug. 2019 But Harp was soundly defeated in the Democratic primary by Justin Elicker, a white former foreign service official who served on the New Haven board of alders. Daniela Altimari,, "In Connecticut’s major cities, it’s the year of the white man in politics," 15 Sep. 2019 Oregon produce and products are highlighted with entrees such as alder-smoked and grilled ribeye with black truffle butter, braised lamb shank, chicken and Northwest cheeses. Gerry Frank, oregonlive, "Head to Mount Hood any time of year: Gerry Frank’s picks," 15 Sep. 2019 Last week, there was also an alder flycatcher at Delaney Wildlife Management Area in Harvard, a Nashville warbler at the McLaughlin Woods in Boston, and a mourning warbler at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Sharon., "Bird sightings," 2 Sep. 2019 This features custom multi-format alder shelves and a handmade cement tile floor. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Custom homebuilder Brad Agler has done it again," 13 Aug. 2019 Since 2014, the Elwha’s delta has grown by at least 100 acres and pushed out into the strait more than 300 feet, creating new space for birds, butterflies, willow, alder, yellow-tongued monkeyflower, and lavender searocket. Starre Vartan, National Geographic, "Beavers on the coast are helping salmon bounce back. Here’s how.," 13 Aug. 2019 There are some trees, a few mature spruce and birch as well as alder brush, but little in the way of burnable firewood. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "Swan Lake Fire may have ruined a weekend, but there is relief that it finally happened," 17 July 2019 With summer solstice less than a week away (June 21 at 7:54 a.m. in Alaska), the night was bright enough to read a map, even in a tunnel of alders. Anchorage Daily News, "A 60-mile walk under the midnight sun, with no stops for sleep," 22 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alder


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alder


Middle English, from Old English alor; akin to Old High German elira alder, Latin alnus

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Time Traveler for alder

Time Traveler

The first known use of alder was in the 14th century

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Statistics for alder

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Alder.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for alder


How to pronounce Alder (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of alder

: a type of tree or shrub that grows in wet ground in some northern countries


al·​der | \ ˈȯl-dər How to pronounce alder (audio) \

Kids Definition of alder

: a tree or shrub related to the birches that has toothed leaves and grows in moist soil

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More from Merriam-Webster on alder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alder

Nglish: Translation of alder for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about alder

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