One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The timber of the West Indian tree Guarea glabra (sometimes called G. guidonia; family Meliaceae), which has a musky smell supposedly resembling that of an alligator.
2The fine-grained timber of the tree Liquidambar styraciflua (family Altingiaceae) of North and Central America, used in construction and for making furniture.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Hans Sloane (1660–1753), physician and collector.
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