prune

1 of 2

noun

: a plum dried or capable of drying without fermentation

prune

2 of 2

verb

pruned; pruning

transitive verb

1
a
: to reduce especially by eliminating superfluous matter
pruned the text
prune the budget
b
: to remove as superfluous
prune away all ornamentation
2
: to cut off or cut back parts of for better shape or more fruitful growth
prune the branches

intransitive verb

: to cut away what is unwanted or superfluous
pruner noun

Examples of prune in a Sentence

Verb She carefully pruned the hedge. Those trees need to be pruned every year. The students were asked to prune their essays. The budget needs to be pruned.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
These include coffee, flaxseed, kiwis, prunes, or prune juice. Suzanne Finkel, Verywell Health, 25 Mar. 2024 Flavors: Raspberry, Bavarian cream, blueberry lemon, strawberry guava, prune Grebe’s Bakery 5132 W. Lincoln Ave., West Allis, (414) 543-7000 Orders may be placed in person, online or by phone. Journal Sentinel, 1 Feb. 2024 Studies going back a number of years have shown a bone benefit from prunes. Sheah Rarback, Miami Herald, 22 Mar. 2024 Researchers think that this effect could be because of prunes’ anti-inflammatory effects, phenolic compounds, and bone health-supporting micronutrients. Lauren Manaker Ms, Rdn, Ld, Verywell Health, 22 Mar. 2024 Start with fiber-rich foods like vegetables, fruits (especially pears, grapes, prunes, and apples), potatoes, and whole grains like brown rice, oats, or wheat bread. Julia Ries, SELF, 11 Jan. 2024 There are four different packs available: a box of raspberry, a box of prune, a mixed box of raspberry and prune, and a mixed box of raisin and raspberry. Journal Sentinel, 1 Feb. 2024 What did one prune say to the other after agreeing to grab dinner? Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 1 Feb. 2024 Paczki are a plump and pillowy yeast pastries that are covered in a sweet glaze, powdered sugar-dusted or unglazed and filled with a filling of fruit jellies, or the traditional prune, custard or cream fillings. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 13 Feb. 2024
Verb
Use the straight blade for harvesting and pruning tight foliage or dead-heading flowers. Stephanie Osmanski, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Mar. 2024 Smooth hydrangea blooms on the current season's growth, so prune it in late winter. Steve Bender, Southern Living, 15 Mar. 2024 In addition to Dimon and the other executives, other high-ranking leaders at the bank pruned their holdings this month. Amanda Gerut, Fortune, 24 Feb. 2024 Workers deal with this by putting calcium carbonate on nests to calm ants before pruning. Lesley Evans Ogden, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Jan. 2024 Boxwoods can be pruned any time but late summer and early fall. Steve Bender, Southern Living, 27 Mar. 2024 When pruning or otherwise handling these plants, wear gloves and eye protection to prevent a trip to the emergency room. Sara Okeefe, The Mercury News, 16 Mar. 2024 Roses should be properly spaced, pruned annually to open them to air and sunlight, and fertilized and watered adequately and appropriately. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Mar. 2024 Even at a glance, the tundra inside the pen was transformed: the sedges pruned, the moss trampled, the blueberries nibbled. Bathsheba Demuth, The Atlantic, 4 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prune.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, plum, from Latin prunum — more at plum

Verb

Middle English prouynen, probably ultimately from Old French prooignier, alteration of *porrooignier, from por- completely (from Latin pro-) + rooignier to cut, prune, from Vulgar Latin *rotundiare to cut around, from Latin rotundus round — more at pro-, rotund

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of prune was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near prune

Cite this Entry

“Prune.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prune. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

prune

1 of 2 noun
: a dried plum

prune

2 of 2 verb
pruned; pruning
1
a
: to reduce by getting rid of matter that is not necessary or wanted
prune an essay
prune a budget
b
: to remove as unnecessary
2
: to cut off the parts of a woody plant that are dead or not wanted
prune the hedge
pruner noun

Medical Definition

prune

noun
: a plum dried or capable of drying without fermentation and often used as a food and as a mild laxative

More from Merriam-Webster on prune

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