1. To lop or cut off the superfluous parts, branches, or shoots of; to clear of useless material; to shape or smooth by trimming; to trim: as, to prune trees; to prune an essay. "Taking into consideration how they [laws] are to be pruned and reformed." (Bacon) "Our delightful task To prune these growing plants, and tend these flowers." (Milton)

2. To cut off or cut out, as useless parts. "Horace will our superfluous branches prune." (Waller)

3. To preen; to prepare; to dress. "His royal bird Prunes the immortal wing and cloys his beak." (Shak)

Origin: OE. Proine, probably fr. F. Provigner to lay down vine stocks for propagation; hence, probably, the meaning, to cut away superfluous shoots. See Provine.

A plum; especially, a dried plum, used in cookery; as, French or Turkish prunes; California prunes.

<botany> German prune, the edible fruit of a sapindaceous tree (Pappea Capensis).

Origin: F. Prune, from L. Prunum a plum. See Plum.

(01 Mar 1998)

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