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

Examples of alder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Shiitake mushrooms grow best on oak, but other hardwoods such as elm, sweet gum, maple, and alder also work well. Rita Pelczar, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 July 2024 Since the Milwaukee County CLT would serve many municipalities, the group’s Board of Directors would determine the definition of affordability, the committee members told Wauwatosa alders. Bridget Fogarty, Journal Sentinel, 27 June 2024 Wilke has led efforts in improving Hartung Park and the Menomonee Parkway during his tenure as an alder. Bridget Fogarty, Journal Sentinel, 2 Apr. 2024 Gerstein notes that a handful of cities are specifically targeting the permitting and licensing process, much like the idea proposed to New Haven alders. José Luis Martínez, Hartford Courant, 1 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for alder 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alder.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near alder

Cite this Entry

“Alder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


al·​der ˈȯl-dər How to pronounce alder (audio)
: any of a genus of toothed-leaved trees or shrubs related to the birches

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Al·​der ˈäl-dər How to pronounce Alder (audio)
Kurt 1902–1958 German chemist

More from Merriam-Webster on alder

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