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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

But eventually, the dog days of summer will sit and give way to the beautiful fall foliage that draws Pumpkin Spice enthusiasts to Brown County each year. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Brown County 'Leaf Cam' launches for viewing Indiana fall leaves," 9 Sep. 2019 Volunteer crews came in after the foliage was removed and worked on removing the root system. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "South Windsor using ‘goatscaping’ to control invasive plants," 7 Sep. 2019 Though not always practical, try to water at the base of the plants to reduce moisture on the foliage. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Yellowing basil leaves could mean downy mildew," 26 Aug. 2019 Prune Curcuma in the fall when the foliage turns yellow and dies back to keep your plant fresh and tidy. Stan Davidson, sun-sentinel.com, "Spice up your landscape with Curcuma," 22 Aug. 2019 Since the 1990s, the Glendale Fire Department has inspected and limited the foliage around homes in neighborhoods with a high fire risk to prevent more damage from brush fires, such as this one in the Chevy Chase area. Lila Seidman, Glendale News-Press, "Confused about the fire department’s brush inspection fee? Here’s what it’s for," 20 Aug. 2019 For some, the night ended here, beneath the whimsical foliage; others, were off to the after-party hosted by MK and Octavius Prince. Vogue, "Inside the Preservation Society of Newport’s Annual Gala—Where Multiple Generations Partied Into the Night," 16 Aug. 2019 In the bamboo grove toward the west end of the atrium, which borders the museum’s cafe, Ogboh has installed a series of small loudspeakers amid the foliage. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Emeka Ogboh installation fills CMA atrium with sound of Nigeria and timely message of diversity," 11 Aug. 2019 Any signs of herbicide damage on the foliage or fruit? oregonlive.com, "Can you identify this fabulous little bee? Ask an expert," 10 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about foliage

Listen to Our Podcast about foliage

Statistics for foliage

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foliage

The first known use of foliage was in 1598

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on foliage

What made you want to look up foliage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!