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defoliate

[v. dee-foh-lee-eyt; adj. dee-foh-lee-it, -eyt] /v. diˈfoʊ liˌeɪt; adj. diˈfoʊ li ɪt, -ˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), defoliated, defoliating.
1.
to strip (a tree, bush, etc.) of leaves.
2.
to destroy or cause widespread loss of leaves in (an area of jungle, forest, etc.), as by using chemical sprays or incendiary bombs, in order to deprive enemy troops or guerrilla forces of concealment.
verb (used without object), defoliated, defoliating.
3.
to lose leaves.
adjective
4.
(of a tree) having lost its leaves, especially by a natural process.
Origin
1785-1795
1785-1795; < Medieval Latin dēfoliātus, past participle of dēfoliāre, equivalent to Latin dē- de- + foli(um) leaf + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
defoliation, noun
defoliator, noun
undefoliated, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for defoliation
  • defoliation is observed on the bottom part of the main stem and lower branches.
British Dictionary definitions for defoliation

defoliate

verb (diːˈfəʊlɪˌeɪt)
1.
to deprive (a plant) of its leaves, as by the use of a herbicide, or (of a plant) to shed its leaves
adjective (diːˈfəʊlɪɪt)
2.
(of a plant) having shed its leaves
Derived Forms
defoliation, noun
defoliator, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Medieval Latin dēfoliāre, from Latin de- + folium leaf
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for defoliation
n.

1650s, noun of action from past participle stem of Late Latin defoliare "shed leaves," from de- (see de-) + folium "leaf" (see folio).

defoliate

v.

1793, perhaps a back-formation from defoliation. Earlier in this sense was defoil (c.1600). Related: Defoliated; defoliating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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15
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