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[proo-nel-uh] /pruˈnɛl ə/
a strong, lightweight worsted constructed in a twill weave, used in the manufacture of women's and children's apparel.
a smooth-faced fabric made of mixed fibers or wool, formerly used in the manufacture of women's dresses and of robes for clerics, scholars, and lawyers.
Also, prunelle, prunello
[proo-nel-oh] /pruˈnɛl oʊ/ (Show IPA)
Origin of prunella
1650-60; perhaps special use of prunelle, from the dark color of the cloth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prunella
Historical Examples
  • All over the wide fields of earth grows the prunella or self-heal.

    Essays, Second Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • prunella is dyed either in piece or yarn state and is hand finished.


    William H. Dooley
  • The simplest twills are the so-called "doeskin" and "prunella."

    Textiles and Clothing Kate Heintz Watson
  • The prunella, or self-heal, in the grass here, was an old acquaintance.

    Excursions and Poems

    Henry David Thoreau
  • "So that is why you have such a wonderful look on your face," said Princess prunella.

  • There was yellow clay on the heels and a spattering of yellow clay on the prunella.

    Dominie Dean Ellis Parker Butler
  • prunella, I noticed, was of a much deeper purple there than at home.

    Fresh Fields

    John Burroughs
  • Does the prunella belong to the family of Labiat, like the bugle?

    Everyday Objects W. H. Davenport Adams
  • At the first glance, the Scutellaria has no resemblance to the prunella.

    Everyday Objects W. H. Davenport Adams
  • The latter character is not nearly so marked in the prunella as in the scutellaria.

    Everyday Objects W. H. Davenport Adams
British Dictionary definitions for prunella


a strong fabric, esp a twill-weave worsted, used for gowns and the uppers of some shoes
Word Origin
C17: perhaps from prunelle, with reference to the colour of the cloth


See selfheal
Word Origin
New Latin, altered from brunella, from German Braüne quinsy, which it was thought to cure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prunella

stout textile used for men's robes and gowns, 1650s, from French prunelle, noun use of adjective meaning "plum-colored," from prunelle, diminutive of prune "plum" (see prune (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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