fig leaf

noun
Updated on: 18 Apr 2018

Definition of fig leaf

1 : the leaf of a fig tree
2
[from the use by Adam and Eve of fig leaves to cover their nakedness after eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:7)]
: something that conceals or camouflages usually inadequately or dishonestly

Examples of fig leaf in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of fig leaf from the Web

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

First Known Use of fig leaf

14th century


FIG LEAF Defined for English Language Learners

fig leaf

Definition of fig leaf for English Language Learners

  • : the leaf of a fig tree

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


Learn More about fig leaf


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

unwilling or reluctant

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks Quiz

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!