defoliate

verb
de·​fo·​li·​ate | \-lē-ˌāt \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from defoliate

defoliation \(ˌ)dē-​ˌfō-​lē-​ˈā-​shən \ noun
defoliator \(ˌ)dē-​ˈfō-​lē-​ˌā-​tər \ noun

Examples of defoliate in a Sentence

a chemical used to defoliate trees Insects are defoliating the trees.

Recent Examples on the Web

Such hardy species have been bred for generations to be less likely to defoliate when introduced to slight shifts in temperature or humidity, and to do well in home environments. Heidi Mitchell, WSJ, "Which Houseplants Grow Best in Low Light?," 10 Nov. 2018 These beetles defoliate plants, reducing yields or killing young plants. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The 10 Most Destructive Garden Insects and How to Get Rid of Them," 10 July 2018 Adults skeletonize leaves, chew flowers, and may completely defoliate plants while larvae feed on lawn and garden plant roots. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The 10 Most Destructive Garden Insects and How to Get Rid of Them," 10 July 2018 Question: My hickory tree has been defoliated by caterpillars. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Caterpillar invasion isn't end for healthy tree," 14 July 2018 These beetles defoliate plants, reducing yields or killing young plants. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "10 Most Destructive Garden Insects And How To Get Rid Of Them," 3 June 2016 Adults eat flowers and skeletonize leaves of a broad range of plants; plants may be completely defoliated. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Defend Your Garden Against Japanese Beetles," 26 Jan. 2018 Oak leaf blister can defoliate and even kill oak trees. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Grow Healthy Food By Identifying + Treating These Common Plant Diseases," 21 July 2015 Connecticut suffered significant gypsy moth damage in 1981, when 1.5 million acres were defoliated. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Salvaging White Oaks Lost To Gypsy Moth Devastation," 21 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about defoliate

Dictionary Entries near defoliate

defoedation

defog

defoliant

defoliate

deforce

deforceor

deforciant

Statistics for defoliate

Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for defoliate

The first known use of defoliate was in 1791

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for defoliate

defoliate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of defoliate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on defoliate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defoliate

Comments on defoliate

What made you want to look up defoliate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!