variants: or alerse \ ə-​ˈler-​sə \
plural alerces or alerses

Definition of alerce

1 : the wood of the sandarac tree of Morocco
2 : a slow-growing evergreen tree (Fitzroya cupressoides) of southern Chile and Argentina that has small, scalelike leaves in whorls of three, furrowed, reddish bark, irregular branching, and small, roundish cones composed of nine scales and that is highly valued for its durable, reddish-brown wood

called also Patagonian cypress

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First Known Use of alerce

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alerce

Spanish alerce larch, from Arabic al-arz the larch

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The first known use of alerce was in 1825

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Cite this Entry

“Alerce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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