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

Examples of defoliate in a Sentence

a chemical used to defoliate trees Insects are defoliating the trees.
Recent Examples on the Web Yes, Sitka spruce are being defoliated up and down the entire Oregon coast and in parts of northern California. oregonlive, "Ask an expert: Can I chip our dying red alder tree that has a bacterial infection?," 27 Oct. 2019 If a benjamina defoliates somewhat, you aren’t left with this big bald spot on your tree. Los Angeles Times, "How the weeping fig became the ‘It’ plant of the gardening world (again)," 15 Aug. 2019 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 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 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 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 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

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

12 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Defoliate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/defoliations. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for defoliate

defoliate

verb
How to pronounce defoliate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of defoliate

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defoliate

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