foliage

noun
fo·liage | \ˈfō-lē-ij also -lyij; nonstandard ˈfō-lij, nonstandard ˈfȯi-lij \

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 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

In late winter, when the weather warms, after a proper number of chill hours has occurred, the buds that were started the previous growing season swell and then break into flowers or foliage. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "Despite mild winter, Treasure Valley fruit trees likely are doing OK | Idaho Statesman," 21 Feb. 2018 In this private, gated community, trees and foliage are your only neighbors for about an acre of each other. Susan Moskop, chicagotribune.com, "High-end Chicago-area homes: Cabin in the woods or mansion by the beach?," 15 Aug. 2017 Garlic chives probably are just as repellent, and their small purple or white flowers in late spring looks great with rose flowers and foliage. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "26 Plants You Should Always Grow Side-By-Side," 3 Feb. 2017 The other half of her body is covered by an almost equally large photograph of African foliage. Sharon Mizota, latimes.com, "Review: Photographer Todd Gray traces African roots," 9 July 2018 The scent of sage perfumed the air, and bursts of red foliage punctuated the gray-green grasslands. Beth J. Harpaz, chicagotribune.com, "Badlands and history in Theodore Roosevelt National Park," 5 July 2018 Their eggs—known as oocysts—can survive in soil, smeared onto foliage, and floating in seawater for months up to years at a time. Kim Steutermann Rogers, Smithsonian, "How the Tiniest of Parasites is Taking Down the Mightiest of Monk Seals," 9 July 2018 Perhaps there was a time, way back in your childhood, when summer meant riding your bike everyday to some idyllic, foliage-heavy park to drink Big Gulps and watch the clouds pass overhead. Yang-yi Goh, GQ, "The Best Affordable Suit For Your Non-Stop Summer Schedule," 29 June 2018 This is also a good time to remove yellow, declining or out-of-bound foliage. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Prune blueberry bushes after fruiting," 23 June 2018

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

13 Oct 2018

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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 \

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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