prune

1
[proon]
See more synonyms for prune on Thesaurus.com

Origin of prune

1
1300–50; late Middle English < Middle French < Latin prūna, plural (taken as feminine singular) of prūnum plum < Greek proû(m)non plum1

prune

2
[proon]
verb (used with object), pruned, prun·ing.
  1. to cut or lop off (twigs, branches, or roots).
  2. to cut or lop superfluous or undesired twigs, branches, or roots from; trim.
  3. to rid or clear of (anything superfluous or undesirable).
  4. to remove (anything considered superfluous or undesirable).

Origin of prune

2
1400–50; late Middle English prouynen < Middle French proognier to prune (vines), variant of provigner, derivative of provain scion (< Latin propāgin-, stem of propāgō; see propagate)
Related formsprun·a·ble, adjectiveprun·a·bil·i·ty, nounprun·er, nounun·prun·a·ble, adjective

prune

3
[proon]
verb (used with object), pruned, prun·ing.
  1. Archaic. to preen.

Origin of prune

3
1350–1400; Middle English prunen, pruynen, proy(g)nen < Old French poroign-, present stem of poroindre, equivalent to por- (< Latin pro- pro-1) + oindre to anoint (< Latin unguere); see preen1
Related formsprun·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for prune

shave, shorten, shear, snip, clip, reduce, shape, dock, lop, eliminate, gut, exclude, thin, skive

Examples from the Web for prune

Contemporary Examples of prune

  • This was the case with Prune Nourry, a young French sculptress who went to India to create a piece of art interpreting women.

  • We made the prune based Chocolate Fudge Torte at the bakery and it left everyone slack-jawed.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Fresh Picks

    Matt Lewis Renato Poliafito

    October 1, 2010

Historical Examples of prune

  • I might fertilize him, I might prune him, and I might use insecticide on him.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • The one great work that a vinedresser has to do for the branch every year is to prune it.

  • Then, how I would toil, toil, prune and expand his feeble ideas!

    Melomaniacs

    James Huneker

  • He meant at least to prune the orchard and maybe set out dwarfs.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • Nourish your idea plants that have been starved; prune your word plants.

    Evening Round Up

    William Crosbie Hunter


British Dictionary definitions for prune

prune

1
noun
  1. a purplish-black partially dried fruit of any of several varieties of plum tree
  2. slang, mainly British a dull, uninteresting, or foolish person

Word Origin for prune

C14: from Old French prune, from Latin prūnum plum, from Greek prounon

prune

2
verb
  1. to remove (dead or superfluous twigs, branches, etc) from (a tree, shrub, etc), esp by cutting off
  2. to remove (anything undesirable or superfluous) from (a book, etc)
Derived Formsprunable, adjectivepruner, noun

Word Origin for prune

C15: from Old French proignier to clip, probably from provigner to prune vines, from provain layer (of a plant), from Latin propāgo a cutting

prune

3
verb
  1. an archaic word for preen 1
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

Word Origin and History for prune
n.

mid-14c., "a plum," also "a dried plum" (c.1200 in place name Prunhill), from Old French pronne "plum" (13c.), from Vulgar Latin *pruna, fem. singular formed from Latin pruna, neuter plural of prunum "a plum," by dissimilation from Greek proumnon, from a language of Asia Minor. Slang meaning "disagreeable or disliked person" is from 1895. Prune juice is from 1807.

v.

early 15c., prouyne, from Old French proignier "cut back (vines), prune" (Modern French provigner), of unknown origin. Perhaps [Watkins] from Gallo-Romance *pro-retundiare "cut in a rounded shape in front," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + *retundiare "round off," from Latin rotundus (see round (adj.)). Klein suggests the Old French word is from provain "layer of a vine," from Latin propago (cf. prop (n.1)).

Or the Middle English word might be identical with the falconry term proinen, proynen "trim the feather with the beak" (late 14c.), source of preen [Barnhart]. Related: Pruned; pruning. Pruning hook is from 1610s; pruning knife from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with prune

prune

see full of beans, def. 2.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.