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, pru·nel·lo [proo-nel-oh] /pruˈnɛl oʊ/.

Origin of prunella

1650–60; perhaps special use of prunelle, from the dark color of the cloth Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prunella

Historical Examples of prunella

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for prunella



prunelle (pruːˈnɛl) or prunello (pruːˈnɛləʊ)


a strong fabric, esp a twill-weave worsted, used for gowns and the uppers of some shoes

Word Origin for prunella

C17: perhaps from prunelle, with reference to the colour of the cloth




Word Origin for prunella

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

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