defoliate

[v. dee-foh-lee-eyt; adj. dee-foh-lee-it, -eyt]
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; < Medieval Latin dēfoliātus, past participle of dēfoliāre, equivalent to Latin dē- de- + foli(um) leaf + -ātus -ate1

defoliation, noun
defoliator, noun
undefoliated, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
defoliate
 
vb
1.  to deprive (a plant) of its leaves, as by the use of a herbicide, or (of a plant) to shed its leaves
 
adj
2.  (of a plant) having shed its leaves
 
[C18: from Medieval Latin dēfoliāre, from Latin de- + folium leaf]
 
defoli'ation
 
n
 
de'foliator
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

defoliation
1659, from L.L. defoliatus, pp. of defoliare "shed leaves." Defoliant is from 1943.

defoliate
1793, from Mod.L. defoliare, from de- + folium "leaf" (see folio). Earlier in this sense was defoil (c.1600).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for defoliation
Defoliation is observed on the bottom part of the main stem and lower branches.
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