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 This argument could now be in danger, however, because the crisis in Rome rips away her legal fig leaf. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 21 July 2022 This strike, then, offers the Biden administration a fig leaf, demonstrating that even in Taliban hands, Afghanistan is not off limits for direct action against terrorist targets. Abdul El-sayed, The New Republic, 5 Aug. 2022 The restaurant logo, a fig leaf, is a tribute to Maggio’s nonno, or grandpa, who emigrated from Italy to the Midwest in the 1950s. Lydia Morrell, Journal Sentinel, 26 July 2022 Critics of the conservative legal movement view the approach as a theoretical fig leaf used to justify decisions that line up with conservatives’ policy preferences. Emma Green, The New Yorker, 24 July 2022 The main event was Donald Trump’s attempt to find some legal or procedural fig leaf for invalidating the 2020 presidential election, and by that means to remain in ... Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 12 June 2022 The court’s critics on the left have often argued that this is a mere fig leaf for the conservatives’ preferred outcome. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 29 June 2022 Foremost among these is John Eastman, the constitutional law scholar who acknowledged that his arguments would not draw a single vote from the Supreme Court, but insisted upon giving a fig leaf of lawyerly gravitas to Trump’s nonsense. The Editors, National Review, 20 June 2022 Environmentalists have raised concerns that reforestation may be used as a fig leaf to obfuscate rising emissions. Charlie Campbell, Time, 25 May 2022 See More

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, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near fig leaf

fight with

fig leaf

fig marigold

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fig leaf.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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