fig leaf


: the leaf of a fig tree

: something that prevents embarrassment or criticism by covering or hiding something

Full Definition of FIG LEAF

:  the leaf of a fig tree
[from the use by Adam and Eve of fig leaves to cover their nakedness after eating the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:7)] :  something that conceals or camouflages usually inadequately or dishonestly

Examples of FIG LEAF

  1. Opponents claim that the humanitarian goals of the project are just a fig leaf, and that its real purpose is to make money.

First Known Use of FIG LEAF

14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: fig marigoldPrevious Word in the Dictionary: fight talkAll Words Near: fig leaf
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears