One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several organic compounds isolated from the sap of aloes; (in later use) specifically an anthraquinone which forms bitter-tasting lemon-yellow crystals and has purgative and cathartic effects.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Constantine Rafinesque (1783–1840). Originally from German Aloine from Aloe + -ine.
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