\ ˈprün How to pronounce prune (audio) \

Definition of prune

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a plum dried or capable of drying without fermentation


pruned; pruning

Definition of prune (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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

Other Words from prune


pruner noun

Synonyms for prune

Synonyms: Verb

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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 In particular, raisin, date, fig and prune, along with milk chocolate, marzipan, coffee, honey, orange marmalade. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 5 May 2022 The 30-year-old includes mint, earth and prune aromas and tastes wispy light and balanced, with flavors of caramel, figs and prunes. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 13 Mar. 2022 In the Willamette Valley, prune from mid-February to early March, when the weather is conducive for the plants to start growing. oregonlive, 8 Mar. 2022 The Bing cherry, of the species Prunus avium, has the medicinal implications of a prune. John Mcphee, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2022 Rey Gordo is a big, but lovely, balanced dance of a beer; Rey Cuvée is a punch — a massive, smoky, prune-meets-black-licorice aromatic punch. Josh Noel,, 19 Nov. 2021 On the palate, there are notes of fig, date and prune, along with golden raisin, stone fruit notes of apricot and some peach and tropical fruit notes of melon, mango and a touch of pineapple. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 6 Nov. 2021 The addition of a little water brings out some more pronounced prune and licorice notes on the nose. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 On the nose, there are intense black fruit aromas of plum, black fruit and blackberry, along with some prune. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 2 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Aim to prune plants when the suckers are between 2 and 4 inches long. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 June 2022 Games that, say, require you to prune trees to progress. Mitch Wallace, Forbes, 1 May 2022 Anyone with a magnifying mirror and tweezers can recklessly prune their brows, but patiently growing them back? Paige Stables, Allure, 30 June 2022 The best thing to do would be to prune the dead branches off. oregonlive, 29 May 2022 To allow drying breezes to flow through an overgrown shrub, prune out one-third of the stems, choosing the oldest, thickest ones to remove. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 5 June 2022 If the canker pathogen is a fungus, prune off the cankers in early summer. oregonlive, 23 Jan. 2022 The Oregon Department of Forestry and the National Arbor Day Foundation hope homeowners dealing with tree damage don’t overly prune or pull out trees that could have been saved. oregonlive, 11 Apr. 2022 Instructor Diana Donnellan will explain how to correctly prune plumeria trees and then give participants a chance to learn by working on the Arboretum’s plumeria. Jeanette Marantosstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prune.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of prune


14th century, in the meaning defined above


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

History and Etymology for prune


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


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

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

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Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Prune.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for prune


\ ˈprün How to pronounce prune (audio) \

Kids Definition of prune

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a dried plum


pruned; pruning

Kids Definition of prune (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to cut off dead or unwanted parts of a bush or tree
2 : to cut out useless or unwanted parts (as unnecessary words in something written)


\ ˈprün How to pronounce prune (audio) \

Medical Definition of prune

: 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

Nglish: Translation of prune for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prune for Arabic Speakers


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