One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Full of or resembling chaff. rare.
2Originally Botany. Needle-shaped and rigid, as the leaves of a pine tree; sharply pointed; acicular.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Nathan Bailey (d. 1742), lexicographer and schoolmaster. From classical Latin acerōsus full of or mixed with chaff from acer-, acus chaff + -ōsus.
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