noun \ˈfō-lē-ij also -lyij; ÷ˈfō-lij, ÷ˈfi-lij\

: the leaves of a plant or of many plants

Full Definition of FOLIAGE

:  a representation of leaves, flowers, and branches for architectural ornamentation
:  the aggregate of leaves of one or more plants
:  a cluster of leaves, flowers, and branches
fo·liaged \-lē-ijd also -lyijd; ÷ˈfō-lijd, ÷ˈfi-\ adjective

Usage Discussion of FOLIAGE

The disyllabic pronunciation \ˈfō-lij\ is very common. Some commentators insist that foliage requires a trisyllabic pronunciation because of its spelling, but words of a similar pattern such as carriage and marriage do not fall under their prescription. The pronunciation \ˈfi-lij\ is disapproved because it suggests the transposition of the l and i in the spelling. It is not as common as \ˈfō-lij\ and may be associated with the nonstandard spelling foilage.

Examples of FOLIAGE

  1. a tree with pretty foliage
  2. the thick green foliage of the jungle

Origin of FOLIAGE

Middle French fuellage, from foille leaf — more at foil
First Known Use: 1598

Other Botany Terms

annual, burgeon, chloroplast, nomenclature, succulent, sylvan, xylem


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