Definition of cornel in US English:



  • A dogwood, especially of a dwarf variety.

    Genus Cornus, family Cornaceae: several species, including the dwarf C. suecica

    • ‘The best fruit of any Old World species is that of Cornus mas, commonly called cornel or cornelian cherry.’
    • ‘For Christmas or New Year's, fortunes in the form of coins, cornel cherry twigs, or slips of paper are inserted in banitsa or bread.’
    • ‘The army's striking force was provided by the Companion Cavalry, who wielded spears of tough cornel wood.’
    • ‘The survakane - a decorated branch from a cornel tree - is another tradition of well-wishing.’
    • ‘The cornel tree is a symbol of health, prosperity and power on Vassil Day.’


Late Middle English (denoting the wood of the cornelian cherry): from Old French corneille, from Latin cornus.