Pronunciation Noun

prune (plural prunes)

  1. (obsolete) A plum.
  2. The dried, wrinkled fruit of certain species of plum.
    hypo en
  3. (slang) An old woman, especially a wrinkly one.

prune (prunes, present participle pruning; past and past participle pruned)

  1. (intransitive, informal) To become wrinkled like a dried plum, as the fingers and toes do when kept submerged in water.
    • 2005, Alycia Ripley, Traveling with an Eggplant (page 111)
      I hardly left that spot in my pool that month even when my fingers pruned and chlorine dried out my skin.
Synonyms Translations
  • French: pruneau
  • German: Backpflaume, Trockenpflaume
  • Italian: prugna secca
  • Portuguese: ameixa seca
  • Russian: черносли́в
  • Spanish: ciruela pasa
Translations Verb

prune (prunes, present participle pruning; past and past participle pruned)

  1. (transitive, horticulture) To remove excess material from a tree or shrub; to trim, especially to make more healthy or productive.
    A good grape grower will prune the vines once a year.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 4”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      Our delightful task / To prune these growing plants, and tend these flowers.
  2. (transitive, figuratively) To cut down or shorten (by the removal of unnecessary material).
    to prune a budget, or an essay
    • 1605, Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning
      taking into consideration how they [laws] are to be pruned and reformed
  3. (transitive, computer science) To remove unnecessary branches from a tree data structure.
  4. (obsolete) To preen; to prepare; to dress.
    • 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene iv]:
      Hang him; he'll be made an example.
    • 1676, John Dryden, All For Love, Epilogue.
      For 'tis observed of every scribbling man,
      He grows a fop as fast as e'er he can;
      Prunes up, and asks his oracle, the glass,
      If pink or purple best become his face.
Translations Translations

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