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 The Tongue Tondo, young lovers tease one another while surrounded by lush foliage. Thomas Gebremedhin, WSJ, "Lisa Yuskavage’s Art Continues to Defy Characterization," 6 Nov. 2018 In Maryland, where much of the land is obscured by foliage or paved over with concrete, that means searching in streams. Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, "Fossil hunting 101: Lessons from a self-taught dinosaur tracker," 16 June 2018 The first images of the red velvet confection by Sophie Cabot show five towering tiers decorated with deep orange and green foliage in keeping with the seasonal theme. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "Your First Look at Princess Eugenie's Red Velvet Wedding Cake," 6 Oct. 2018 The plant has an upright growth habit with attractive light green foliage in addition to the flowers. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "For your garden: 6 woody perennials that love the heat," 18 May 2018 Farther away, the Flatiron mountains are thick with snow from a late-summer storm that snapped thousands of trees still lush with foliage. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "Alliance of American football coach Rick Neuheisel's deep connections to Tempe, Arizona," 18 May 2018 Add a statement piece such as a dramatic serving bowl for a tablescape that's both wow-worthy and relaxed, or lift your look with un-fussy foliage. Kelsey Kloss, ELLE Decor, "Refreshing Pool Party Ideas That Are Afloat With Style," 3 May 2018 These are indeed striking with purple and green foliage, but have invaded wild areas. Kenneth Setzer, miamiherald, "These plants are troublemakers in South Florida gardens. Avoid them. | Miami Herald," 20 Apr. 2018 Below are some recommendations for shrubs with interesting foliage that grow well in western Oregon. OregonLive.com, "6 vibrant, colorful shrubs to spruce up Oregon gardens," 9 Apr. 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

8 Dec 2018

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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 \

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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