Dictionary: PROX-IM'I-TY – PRUN-ER

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PROX-IM'I-TY, n. [Fr. proximité; L. proximitas.]

The state of being next; immediate nearness either in place, blood or alliance. The succession to the throne and to estates is usually regulated by proximity of blood. – Dryden. Swift.

PROX'Y, n. [contracted from procuracy, or some word from the root of procure, proctor.]

  1. The agency of another who acts as a substitute for his principal; agency of a substitute; appearance of a representative. None can be familiar by proxy. None can be virtuous or wise by proxy.
  2. The person who is substituted or deputed to act for another. A wise man will not commit important business to a proxy, when he can transact it in person. In England, any peer may make another lord of parliament his proxy to vote for him in his absence. – Blackstone.
  3. In popular use, an election or day of voting for officers of government.


The office or agency of a proxy.

PRUCE, n. [from Prussia.]

Prussian leather. [Not in use.] – Dryden.

PRUDE, n. [Fr. prude, wise, discreet, sober, formal, precise; D. preutsch, prudish, and proud; G. spröde, a prude, and shy, cold, reserved, coy, demure, and applied to metals, brittle, friable; Dan. sprödig, eager, brittle, harsh, dry, rugged; W. pruz, (prudh,) prudent, discreet, serious, sad, sorrowful; Goth. frods, prudent; Gr. φραδη, prudence; Goth. frathi, mind, intellect; frathyan, to be wise, to understand. The Goth. frod signifies both wise, prudent, and broken; D. vroed, prudent. We see that prude, prudent, and proud are from the same root. The sense of brittle would indicate that these words belong to the same family with the Dan. bryder, to break; and the radical elements are the same. The Welsh pruz is from tending out or reaching, hence pryder, anxiety, a stretching of the mind. The sense of pride is probably from stretching, straitness, stiffness; and the sense of wise is derivative. Prudence is from the same root, implying care, a tension of mind.]

A woman of great reserve, coyness, affected stiffness of manners and scrupulous nicety. Less modest than the speech of prudes. – Swift.

PRU'DENCE, n. [Fr. from L. prudentia; It. prudenza; Sp. prudencia. See Prude.]

Wisdom applied to practice. – Johnson. Prudence implies caution in deliberating and consulting on the most suitable means to accomplish valuable purposes, and the exercise of sagacity in discerning and selecting them. Prudence differs from wisdom in this, that prudence implies more caution and reserve than wisdom, or is exercised more in foreseeing and avoiding evil, than in devising and executing that which is good. It is sometimes mere caution or circumspection. Prudence is principally in reference to actions to be done, and due means, order, season and method of doing or not doing. – Hale.


  1. Cautious; circumspect; practically wise; careful of the consequences of enterprises, measures or actions; cautious not to act when the end is of doubtful utility, or probably impracticable. The prudent man looketh well to his going. – Prov. xiv. A prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself. – Prov. xxii.
  2. Dictated or directed by prudence; as, prudent behavior.
  3. Foreseeing by instinct; as, the prudent crane. – Milton.
  4. Frugal; economical; as, a prudent woman; prudent expenditure of money.
  5. Wise; intelligent.


  1. Proceeding from prudence; dictated or prescribed by prudence; as, prudential motives; prudential rules.
  2. Superintending the discretionary concerns of a society; as, a prudential committee. – New England.


The quality of being prudential; eligibility on principles of prudence. [Not used.] Brown.


In conformity with prudence; prudently. – South.

PRU-DEN'TIALS, n. [plur.]

  1. Maxims of prudence or practical wisdom. Many stanzas in poetic measures contain rules relating to common prudentials, as well as to religion. – Watts.
  2. The subordinate discretionary concerns and economy of a company, society or corporation. The board of trustees appoint annually a committee to manage the prudentials of the corporation. – New England.


  1. With prudence; with due caution or circumspection; discreetly; wisely; as, domestic affairs prudently managed; laws prudently framed or executed.
  2. With frugality; economically; as, income prudently expended.

PRU'DER-Y, n. [from prude.]

Affected scrupulousness; excessive nicety in conduct; stiffness; affected reserve or gravity; coyness. – Tatler.

PRU'DISH, a. [from prude.]

Affectedly grave; very formal, precise or reserved; as, a prudish woman; prudish manners. A formal lecture, spoke with prudish face. – Garrick.


In a prudish manner.

PRU-I'NA, n. [L.]

Hoar frost.



PRUNE, n. [Fr. prune; It. and Sp. pruna; L. prunum; D. pruim. In Latin, prunus is a plum-tree, Gr. προυνη, and prunum, the fruit.]

A recent plum, or a dried plum. – Bacon.

PRUNE, v.i.

To dress; to prink; a ludicrous word. – Dryden.

PRUNE, v.t. [perhaps from Fr. provigner, to lay down vine stocks for propagation. If not, I know not its origin.]

  1. To lop or cut off the superfluous branches of trees, to make them bear better fruit or grow higher, or to give them a more handsome and regular appearance. – Encyc. Milton.
  2. To clear from any thing superfluous; to dress; to trim. His royal bird / Prunes the immortal wing, and cloys his beak. – Shak.

PRUN-ED, pp.

  1. Divested of superfluous branches; trimmed.
  2. Cleared of what is unsuitable or superfluous.


A plant. – Ainsworth.


A kind of stuff of which clergymen's gowns are made. – Pope.

PRU-NEL'LO, n.2 [Fr. prunelle, from prune.]

A kind of plum. – Ainsworth.


One that prunes trees or removes what is superfluous.