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prune1

[proon] /prun/
noun
1.
a variety of plum that dries without spoiling.
2.
such a plum when dried.
3.
any plum.
Origin of prune1
late Middle English
1300-1350
1300-50; late Middle English < Middle French < Latin prūna, plural (taken as feminine singular) of prūnum plum < Greek proû(m)non plum1

prune2

[proon] /prun/
verb (used with object), pruned, pruning.
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
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 forms
prunable, adjective
prunability, noun
pruner, noun
unprunable, adjective

prune3

[proon] /prun/
verb (used with object), pruned, pruning.
1.
Archaic. to preen.
Origin
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 forms
prunable, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for prune
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I prune while the tree is young; then the wound does not affect them so much; it pays, and is very necessary.

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

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • At that time the energies of the plant are at a minimum and you can prune more safely than at any other time.

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

    Evening Round Up William Crosbie Hunter
  • I prune my trees a little each year, to let in sunshine; I think it pays and is beneficial.

    The Apple Various
  • Considered from every standpoint, March and April are quite the best months in which to prune.

    Apple Growing M. C. Burritt
  • It lays fur beyond the switchin' timothy tail of that seed horse or the wavin' raisen mane of that prune charger.

  • Mulberry-colour, much like that we call plum-colour or prune.

    The King's Daughters Emily Sarah Holt
British Dictionary definitions for prune

prune1

/pruːn/
noun
1.
a purplish-black partially dried fruit of any of several varieties of plum tree
2.
(slang, mainly Brit) a dull, uninteresting, or foolish person
Word Origin
C14: from Old French prune, from Latin prūnum plum, from Greek prounon

prune2

/pruːn/
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 Forms
prunable, adjective
pruner, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French proignier to clip, probably from provigner to prune vines, from provain layer (of a plant), from Latin propāgo a cutting

prune3

/pruːn/
verb
1.
an archaic word for preen1
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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Contemporary definitions for prune
noun
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
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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
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Slang definitions & phrases for prune

prune

noun

  1. A pedantic, stiff, and prudish person; prissy (1895+)
  2. A dehydrated nursing-home patient (1980s+ Medical)

verb

To accelerate faster than another car in a race (1940s+ Hot rodders)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with prune

prune

see: full of beans , def. 2.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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