1 of 2


often attributive
: any of a genus (Pinus of the family Pinaceae, the pine family) of coniferous evergreen trees that have slender elongated needles and include some valuable timber trees and ornamentals
: the straight-grained white or yellow usually durable and resinous wood of a pine varying from extreme softness in the white pine to hardness in the longleaf pine
: any of various Australian coniferous trees (as of the genera Callitris or Araucaria)
piney adjective
or less commonly piny


2 of 2


pined; pining

intransitive verb

: to lose vigor, health, or flesh (as through grief) : languish
: to yearn intensely and persistently especially for something unattainable
they still pined for their lost wealth
Choose the Right Synonym for pine

long, yearn, hanker, pine, hunger, thirst mean to have a strong desire for something.

long implies a wishing with one's whole heart and often a striving to attain.

longed for some rest

yearn suggests an eager, restless, or painful longing.

yearned for a stage career

hanker suggests the uneasy promptings of unsatisfied appetite or desire.

always hankering for money

pine implies a languishing or a fruitless longing for what is impossible.

pined for a lost love

hunger and thirst imply an insistent or impatient craving or a compelling need.

hungered for a business of his own
thirsted for power

Examples of pine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Scented with Douglas fir, eucalyptus, pine, and cedar, this choice has a rustic, homey feel to it. Jamie Fischer, Southern Living, 22 Nov. 2023 In one photo, the fireplace mantle is lit up with twinkly lights and a thick swath of pine boughs. Natalia Senanayake, Peoplemag, 20 Nov. 2023 The drive there took us through picturesque fields where cattle milled around sturdy barns, then up into hills covered in spruce and pine. Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2023 The backyard blooms with several varieties of hydrangea, along with Russian sage, Rose of Sharon, elderberry bushes, crepe myrtle, weeping pine, and monkey puzzle trees. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 6 Nov. 2023 Dead pines, firs, and cedars stretch as far as the eye can see. Brian Melley, Fortune, 26 Oct. 2023 Sauza endeavored to make tequila by the same methods his family practiced a century ago, using fully mature agaves, brick ovens, pine tanks for fermentation, and small copper stills—and avoiding additives. Jason O'Bryan, Robb Report, 11 Nov. 2023 Recently, 19 of these animals were reintroduced into a Scottish pine forest to help boost the population. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Nov. 2023 The soothing scent of fresh pine needles envelops your senses, creating a calming ambiance perfect for the holiday season. Poppy Morgan, Rolling Stone, 8 Nov. 2023
But instead of pining over what could've been, Derulo got to work. Daniela Avila, Peoplemag, 23 June 2023 As the human workers pine for home, the humanoid workers increasingly pine to be more than what they’ve been programmed to be. Kate Knibbs, WIRED, 26 Dec. 2022 After years of pining, Iaconetti eventually got the guy: the two wed in 2019 and share a son. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 27 June 2023 Cariuma sneakers frequently rack up long waitlists, most recently ringing in at 77,000 customers who were pining to get their hands on the Oca Low style, according to the brand. Claire Harmeyer, Peoplemag, 14 Mar. 2023 Russia is pining to build on its budding relationship with American conservatives—literally. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 12 May 2023 Chainsaws and demons, enormously fat dragons, lovelorn video game bosses pining over princesses. Erik Kain, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2023 The front office went until the trade deadline to address their absence of a true backup center, trading for Mason Plumlee, then within two weeks signed Russell Westbrook to fill the lead ballhandler role for whom Lue and others had so vocally pined. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2023 Lastly, using the Love Oil, drench the ponytail and start to wrap the bun pining into place. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 27 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English, from Old English pīn, from Latin pinus; probably akin to Greek pitys pine


Middle English, from Old English pīnian to suffer, from *pīn punishment, from Latin poena — more at pain entry 1

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pine was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near pine

Cite this Entry

“Pine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
pined; pining
: to lose energy, health, or weight through grief, worry, or distress
pine away
: to long for very much


2 of 2 noun
: any of a genus of evergreen trees that have narrow needles for leaves, cones, and wood ranging from very soft to hard and that include valuable timber trees as well as many ornamentals
: the white or yellow wood of a pine
piney adjective
also piny

Medical Definition


1 of 2 noun
: any tree of the genus Pinus


2 of 2 noun
: a dietary deficiency disease of sheep or cattle marked by anemia, malnutrition, and general debility
specifically : such a disease due to cobalt deficiency compare morton mains disease

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