Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various plants of the genus Cornus, which includes the bunchberry and dogwoods.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any tree or shrub of the genus Cornus, i.e., dogwood, especially Cornus mas, the European cornel.
  • n. The cherry-like fruit of such plants, certain of which are edible, often termed a cornelian cherry or cornel cherry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The cornelian cherry (Cornus Mas), a European shrub with clusters of small, greenish flowers, followed by very acid but edible drupes resembling cherries.
  • n. Any species of the genus Cornus, as Cornus florida, the flowering cornel; Cornus stolonifera, the osier cornel; Cornus Canadensis, the dwarf cornel, or bunchberry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The cornelian cherry or dogwood, a common European species of Cornus, C. mas, a small tree producing clusters of small yellow flowers in spring before the leaves, followed by numerous red berries.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a tree of shrub of the genus Cornus often having showy bracts resembling flowers

Etymologies

Short for German Kornelbaum, cornel tree (from Middle High German kurnelboum, from Old High German kurnilboum) or from French cornouille, both from Medieval Latin corniola, from diminutive of Latin cornus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin cornus ("the European cornel"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The low-cornel is opening; its cups are greenish now, but they will soon bleach to a pure white.

    Rural Hours

  • [2] All his squires were equipped as he was, with scarlet tunics, breastplates of bronze, and brazen helmets plumed with white, short swords, and a lance of cornel-wood apiece.

    Cyropaedia

  • Then taking four rods, made of the cornel tree, of equal length, and of the thickness of a finger, and of such length that when bent they will admit of being adjusted to the appendages, care should be taken that the extremities of the rods bear not upon the skin, but on the extremities of the balls.

    On Fractures

  • There was a hand-to-hand tussle, in which any Hellene who succeeded in striking his man shivered his lance with the blow, while the Persian troopers, armed with cornel-wood javelins, speedly despatched a dozen men and a couple of horses. 197 At this point the

    Hellenica

  • Again, in place of the long reed spear, which is apt to be weak and awkward to carry, we would substitute two darts of cornel-wood; 167 the one of which the skilful horseman can let fly, and still ply the one reserved in all directions, forwards, backwards,168 and obliquely; add to that, these smaller weapons are not only stronger than the spear but far more manageable.

    On Horsemanship

  • Falle dyle ni efelychu Lloyd George gyda'r Iddewon a rhoi cornel o'r byd iddyn nhw.

    Lakota Sioux declare sovereign nation status

  • Geyvorg and his brother (who I only know as "the cornel") worked together on the farm.

    Chris in Albania:

  • The Lykians furnished fifty ships; and they were wearers of corslets and greaves, and had bows of cornel-wood and arrows of reeds without feathers and javelins and a goat-skin hanging over their shoulders, and about their heads felt caps wreathed round with feathers; also they had daggers and falchions. 1074 The Lykians were formerly called Termilai, being originally of Crete, and they got their later name from Lycos the son of Pandion, an Athenian.

    The History of Herodotus

  • There, they say, grew the holy cornel tree, of which they report, that Romulus once, to try his strength, threw a dart from the

    The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

  • Aventine Mount, the staff of which was made of cornel, which struck so deep into the ground, that no one of many that tried could pluck it up; and the soil, being fertile, gave nourishment to the wood, which sent forth branches, and produced a cornel-stock of considerable bigness.

    The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

Comments

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  • "The wood is free from grit, and for this reason is used by watch-makers to make instruments for cleaning fine machinery or lenses."
    --from the CD&C

    May 1, 2012

  • "Dogberry is an old name for a kind of shrub (the wild cornel) and Verges is probably a dialect form of verjuice, meaning 'sour-faced'. Costard is a large apple, thus a word often applied to heads – in effect, 'bighead'."
    -David Crystal By Hook or by Crook, p 160

    December 17, 2008