foliage

noun
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 foliaged (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

The cold weather in January set the milkweed back a few weeks, but enough of the tropical and native milkweeds such as Asclepias texana are producing foliage to accommodate them. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "What’s blooming in S.A. gardens now in April," 20 Apr. 2018 Today, the jungle has reclaimed most of the land once farmed by the Maya, and many of their cities now lie hidden beneath dense foliage. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Carbon impact of ancient Maya farming may still be felt," 22 Aug. 2018 Many are probably filling with yellow leaves, and some are dropping already brown foliage. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Giving foliage plants a fresh spring start," 24 Apr. 2018 This plant has glossy, variegated foliage with lime edges that become golden in late summer. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "20 Best Boxwood Shrubs to Plant in Your Garden," 14 Feb. 2019 But during the March-to-May breeding season, Tian Tian will, like his wild counterparts, pace his enclosure, vocalize to Mei Xiang, and enthusiastically mark the surrounding foliage with the scent of his urine. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "A Primer on the Zoo’s Possibly Pregnant Giant Panda," 28 June 2018 The living room, seen above, feels like a tree house, with the foliage of the back garden in full leaf. Wendy Goodman, The Cut, "A Showroom to Call Home," 3 May 2018 Lately, more foliage-centric versions are becoming popular, too. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "6 Trendy Houseplants You'll Be Seeing Everywhere This Spring," 5 Mar. 2019 Its interior displays romantic scenes from the tale, and its exterior is intricately covered with golden arabesque foliage. Emily Ferguson, WSJ, "The Legacy of a Japanese Classic," 22 Feb. 2019

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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Last Updated

12 May 2019

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Time Traveler for foliage

The first known use of foliage was in 1598

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More Definitions for foliage

foliage

noun

English Language Learners Definition of foliage

: the leaves of a plant or of many plants

foliage

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

Kids Definition of foliage

: the leaves of a plant

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More from Merriam-Webster on foliage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foliage

Spanish Central: Translation of foliage

Nglish: Translation of foliage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foliage for Arabic Speakers

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