type of common European tree or shrub with an edible fruit, 1550s, from German cornel-baum, from Old High German cornul, from Medieval Latin cornolium, from French cornouille, from Vulgar Latin *cornuculum, from Latin cornum "cornel-cherry," which is perhaps related to Greek kerasos "cherry."
Old English also had borrowed the Latin word, in corntreow. The plant was noted for its hard wood, which was favored by the ancients for making shafts of spears and arrows.
updated on March 31, 2018
Dictionary entries near cornel