- to cut or lop off (twigs, branches, or roots).
- to cut or lop superfluous or undesired twigs, branches, or roots from; trim.
- to rid or clear of (anything superfluous or undesirable).
- to remove (anything considered superfluous or undesirable).
Origin of prune2
- Archaic. to preen.
Origin of prune3
Examples from the Web for pruning
Lawmaking by legislatures is also a one-way ratchet—Legislators get credit for passing laws, not pruning them.Red Tape Is Strangling Good Samaritans
Philip K. Howard
December 27, 2014
Pruning them, Peterson explains, is a science and a dying art.The Pleasures of America’s Oldest Vines
February 22, 2014
He enthusiastically showed off his pruning technique for me and lunch with him was required.Brunello’s King Lear: Gianfranco Soldera Reflects on the Attack on His Wine
December 8, 2013
Each one represents the endpoint of a long process of winnowing, pruning and perfecting, driven entirely by the market.Consider the Washing Machine
September 28, 2012
He calls to Dering, the gardener, who is on a ladder, pruning.Echoes of the War
J. M. Barrie
The method of pruning is exactly the same as in the method just described.
There is much less perplexity in pruning the grape than in pruning tree-fruits.
For an example, a problem in pruning is here stated and solved.
The first, in common parlance, is pruning for wood; the second, pruning for fruit.
- a purplish-black partially dried fruit of any of several varieties of plum tree
- slang, mainly British a dull, uninteresting, or foolish person
- to remove (dead or superfluous twigs, branches, etc) from (a tree, shrub, etc), esp by cutting off
- to remove (anything undesirable or superfluous) from (a book, etc)
- an archaic word for preen 1
Word Origin and History for pruning
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.
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.
Idioms and Phrases with pruning
see full of beans, def. 2.