General English



  • Any of various softwoods of the genus Pinus.


  • (written as PINE)
    A character-based email client for UNIX systems. It is an abbreviation of Program for Internet News and email, or it is an acronym for Pine Is Not Elm, elm being the program it replaced.


  • feminine
    (written as épine)
    loin of meat

Origin & History of “pine”

English has two words pine. The tree-name was borrowed from Latin pīnus, which some have traced to the Indo-European base *pīt- ‘resin’ (source of English pituitary (17th c.)). Pine-cones were originally called pineapples (14th c.), but in the mid 17th century the name was transferred to the tropical plant whose juicy yellow-fleshed fruit was held to resemble a pine-cone. The Latin term for ‘pine-cone’ was pīnea, whose vulgar Latin derivative *pīneolus has given English pinion ‘cog-wheel’ (17th c.), and it seems likely that English pinnace (16th c.) comes via French and Spanish from Vulgar Latin *pīnācea nāvis ‘ship made of pine-wood’. And the pinot noir (20th c.) grape is etymologically the grape with ‘pine-cone’-shaped bunches.

Pine ‘languish’ is a derivative of an unrecorded Old English noun *pīne ‘torture’, originally borrowed into Germanic from pēna, the post-classical descendant of Latin poena ‘penalty’ (source of English pain).