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illustration Spinney



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Old French, 16th century


A small area of trees and bushes.

Examples of Spinney in a sentence

"Our dog raced into the spinney at the edge of the rest stop before returning with a stick."

"The picnickers laid out their blanket beside a spinney of pine trees at one end of the park."

About Spinney

“Spinney” came into English from the Middle French term “espinoye,” meaning “thorny thicket.” This was based on the Latin “spīnētum,” also meaning “thorny thicket.”

Did you Know?

In its earliest appearances in English, “spinney” referred explicitly to a thorny hedge, as indicated by its Middle French and Latin roots implying thorniness. Over time, the thorny quality of the hedge disappeared from the definition of “spinney,” and the term ceased referring only to a hedge but rather to a small area of brush or trees, also called a “copse” or “thicket.” However, one factor distinguishing a spinney from a natural cluster of trees is that “spinney” often specifically describes an area of brush and trees planted deliberately to shelter game birds for hunting.

illustration Spinney

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