defoliate

verb
de·​fo·​li·​ate | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈfō-lē-ˌāt How to pronounce defoliate (audio) \
defoliated; defoliating; defoliates

Definition of defoliate

transitive verb

: to deprive of leaves especially prematurely Black spot, which looks like its name, attacks leaves. Left untreated, it spreads and multiplies, and can defoliate the plant.— Dave Dunn During 1979, approximately 226.260 acres of land/forest was estimated to have been defoliated to varying degrees by the Gypsy moth … in Massachusetts.— David B. Halliwell

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Other Words from defoliate

defoliation \ (ˌ)dē-​ˌfō-​lē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce defoliate (audio) \ noun
defoliator \ (ˌ)dē-​ˈfō-​lē-​ˌā-​tər How to pronounce defoliate (audio) \ noun

Examples of defoliate in a Sentence

a chemical used to defoliate trees Insects are defoliating the trees.
Recent Examples on the Web The primary aim in conflict zones was to destroy crops and to defoliate forests used by enemy fighters. Washington Post, 10 May 2021 Her father, Albion Bergstrom, a 73-year-old professor at the Naval War College, has health issues linked to his exposure to Agent Orange that was used by the U.S. military to defoliate forests during the Vietnam War. William Boston, WSJ, 24 Dec. 2020 Yes, Sitka spruce are being defoliated up and down the entire Oregon coast and in parts of northern California. oregonlive, 27 Oct. 2019 If a benjamina defoliates somewhat, you aren’t left with this big bald spot on your tree. Los Angeles Times, 15 Aug. 2019 These beetles defoliate plants, reducing yields or killing young plants. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, 10 July 2018 These beetles defoliate plants, reducing yields or killing young plants. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, 10 July 2018 These beetles defoliate plants, reducing yields or killing young plants. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, 10 July 2018 These beetles defoliate plants, reducing yields or killing young plants. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defoliate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of defoliate

1791, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for defoliate

Late Latin defoliatus, past participle of defoliare, from Latin de- + folium leaf — more at blade

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Time Traveler for defoliate

Time Traveler

The first known use of defoliate was in 1791

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Statistics for defoliate

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Defoliate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/defoliate. Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for defoliate

defoliate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of defoliate

technical : to cause the leaves of (a plant) to fall off

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for defoliate

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