One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of a surface: having a texture like that of leather; covered in minute cracks. Formerly also: †having a tan colour (obsolete).
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Amos Eaton (1776–1842). From scientific Latin alutaceus (1731 or earlier; from post-classical Latin alutaceus, alteration (after adjectives in -āceus: see -aceous) of alutacius made of leather + -ous.
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