fo·​liage | \ ˈfō-lē-ij How to pronounce foliage (audio) also -lyij; nonstandard ˈfō-lij, nonstandard ˈfȯi-lij How to pronounce foliage (audio) \

Definition of foliage

1 : a representation of leaves, flowers, and branches for architectural ornamentation The doorframe was decorated with beautifully carved foliage.
2 : the aggregate of leaves of one or more plants trees with colorful autumn foliage
3 : a cluster of leaves, flowers, and branches A wreath of foliage adorned her front door.

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Other Words from foliage

foliaged \ ˈfō-​lē-​ijd How to pronounce foliage (audio) also  -​lyijd ; nonstandard  ˈfō-​lijd , nonstandard  ˈfȯi-​ \ adjective

How do you pronounce foliage?: Usage Guide

The disyllabic pronunciation \ˈfō-lij\ is very common. Some commentators insist that foliage requires a trisyllabic pronunciation because of its spelling, but words of a similar pattern such as carriage and marriage do not fall under their prescription. The pronunciation \ˈfȯi-lij\ is disapproved because it suggests the transposition of the l and i in the spelling. It is not as common as \ˈfō-lij\ and may be associated with the nonstandard spelling foilage.

How Do You Pronounce foliage?

The English language has its share of common but disputed usages. One such example is the pronunciation of foliage as FOH-lij or, even more irksome to some, FOY-lij. The first of these two pronunciations, though frequently disparaged, is consistent with the pronunciation of the -iage ending in marriage and carriage, as well the less common but widely accepted pronunciation of verbiage as VER-bij. The second of these is often more fiercely denounced, in part because of its association with the nonstandard spelling foilage. Oddly enough, foliage traces back to Middle French foille ("leaf"), which is also the source of the English word foil (as in "aluminum foil"). When adopted by Middle English speakers, foil originally meant "leaf."

Examples of foliage in a Sentence

a tree with pretty foliage the thick green foliage of the jungle
Recent Examples on the Web With foliage turning and flip-flops rightfully banished to their lairs, all signs point to a return to boot-wearing. Eric Twardzik, Robb Report, 14 Oct. 2021 Indeed the factory tours and tastings at West Branch Malts, located at 2866 Nationwide Parkway in the Brunswick Industrial Park did not immediately call to mind the bucolic pastoral settings that a fall foliage tour might conjure. Brian Lisik, cleveland, 12 Oct. 2021 Lace bugs are piercing-sucking insects that drain the leaves of sap to leave them with a yellow stippling of the foliage surface and residues on the underside of the leaves. Tom Maccubbin,, 2 Oct. 2021 Essentials brand Buck Mason just dropped a new collection of women’s sweats just in time for your next fall foliage trip. Meaghan Kenny, Condé Nast Traveler, 30 Sep. 2021 In Brunswick, try a fall foliage bike tour or snap photos atop the Androscoggin Swinging Bridge, a suspension bridge originally built in 1892. Lea Lane, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 Perfect foliage conditions rely on a good combination of temperature and moisture. Allison Chinchar, CNN, 26 Sep. 2021 The foliage map is a nationwide tool developed by, a website designed to promote tourism in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. oregonlive, 24 Sep. 2021 With foliage season just beginning, officials are again reminding visitors to show courtesy to workers and the environment alike. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foliage.' 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 foliage

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for foliage

Middle French fuellage, from foille leaf — more at foil entry 2

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Time Traveler for foliage

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The first known use of foliage was in 1598

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Dictionary Entries Near foliage



foliage brown

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Foliage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for foliage



English Language Learners Definition of foliage

: the leaves of a plant or of many plants


fo·​li·​age | \ ˈfō-lē-ij How to pronounce foliage (audio) \

Kids Definition of foliage

: the leaves of a plant

More from Merriam-Webster on foliage

Nglish: Translation of foliage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foliage for Arabic Speakers


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