fig leaf


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

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 on the Web

And the myth is two conflicting myths: The first is the fig leaf that the sponsoring organization — Fidelity Charitable — maintains control. Theodore Schleifer, Vox, "Today’s “working robber barons” have used a tax break to create a $110 billion charity stockpile, called donor-advised funds. It isn’t getting any smaller.," 2 July 2019 For most, the argument was a fig leaf to justify their shameful failure to protect innocent unborn life. Marc A. Thiessen, The Mercury News, "Thiessen: Biden’s surrender on abortion is theater of the absurd," 12 June 2019 For now, the restaurant will offer a seasonal strawberry tiramisu alongside chocolate spelt cannoli, a fig leaf panna cotta and good gelato from Southeast Division Street’s Pinolo. Michael Russell,, "Ava Gene’s reopens Sunday after two-month renovation," 6 June 2019 In routine news and feature stories, Trump's dishonesty carries no fig leaf. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Pew Research Center finds widespread agreement about the 'made-up news' malady," 6 June 2019 In routine news and feature stories, Trump’s dishonesty carries no fig leaf. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Analysis: Media starting to describe falsehoods as ‘lies’," 5 June 2019 That response — discussed in detail within the Commerce Ministry and other agencies — would have led to lower tariffs on American goods in dollar terms, which could be seen as a fig leaf to the White House. Keith Bradsher, The Seattle Times, "China once looked tough on trade, but now its options are dwindling," 18 Sep. 2018 Common culprits behind this reaction include citrus fruits (limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit), celery, carrots, wild parsnip, dill, and parsley, as well as fig and fig leaves. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Beware of Phytophotodermatitis, The Weird Sun Reaction That Could Definitely Ruin Your Summer," 18 Aug. 2018 And he's really kept Kim off-balance for the last year and a half through tough rhetoric and military exercises and then these random fig leaves. Fox News, "Samantha Bee goes after Ivanka Trump with vulgar slur," 1 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of fig leaf

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for fig leaf

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for fig leaf

The first known use of fig leaf was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for fig leaf

fig leaf


English Language Learners Definition of fig leaf

: the leaf of a fig tree
: something that prevents embarrassment or criticism by covering or hiding something

More from Merriam-Webster on fig leaf

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fig leaf

Comments on fig leaf

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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