noun (1)
al·​var | \ ˈȯlˌvär \
plural -s

Definition of alvar

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the plant community consisting typically of mosses and calciphilous herbaceous plants that grows on steppelike shallow alkaline soils overlying Scandinavian limestones


noun (2)
Al·​var | \ ˈalˌvär, ˈäl- \
plural -s

Definition of Alvar (Entry 2 of 2)

: one of a group of southern Indian Vaishnava saints and devotional writers of the 7th to 9th centuries a.d.

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!

First Known Use of alvar

Noun (1)

1917, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1865, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alvar

Noun (1)

Swedish ålvar

Noun (2)

Tamil Ār̤vār, from ār̤- to sink, be immersed in meditation

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alvar

Time Traveler for alvar

Time Traveler

The first known use of alvar was in 1865

See more words from the same year

Statistics for alvar

Cite this Entry

“Alvar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

Comments on alvar

What made you want to look up alvar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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