prune 2 (prn)
v. pruned, prun·ing, prunes
1. To cut off or remove dead or living parts or branches of (a plant, for example) to improve shape or growth.
2. To remove or cut out as superfluous.
3. To reduce: prune a budget.
To remove what is superfluous or undesirable.
[Early Modern English, from Middle French prougner, from Old French prooignier, perhaps from pro-, variant of por-, pur-, away, forth (from Latin prō-, in front; see PRO–1) + rooignier, to trim (from Vulgar Latin *rotundiāre, to round off, from Latin rotundus, round; see ret- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.