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fig leaf

noun
1.
the leaf of a fig tree.
2.
a representation of a fig leaf, used as an ornament in architecture, as a cover for the genitalia on a statue or in a painting, etc.
3.
something intended to conceal what may be considered indecorous or indecent:
to approach the facts of life with the fig leaves of roundabout expressions.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for fig leaf
  • Arbitrators eventually settled on reducing it to a one-course release, citing the fig leaf of fiscal exigency.
  • Others fear that ending guidance can be a fig leaf for companies in trouble.
  • Perhaps, but it is also true that western powers had never before reached for such a fig leaf.
  • Sometimes this has been true, other times it has been a fig leaf or an outright lie.
  • Letters and photographs-including one of the artist attired in nothing but a top hat and a fig leaf-round out the show.
  • Should the appeals court ruling stand, e-mail will be left with a fig leaf of legal protection compared to telephone calls.
  • Your telephone calls can be tapped at will with only a fig leaf of an order by a complaint authority.
  • The fig leaf is that you buy and use them for research, but the reality is that they're submitted by students as their own work.
  • But countries disadvantaged by such measures often charge that they're invoked as a fig leaf for old-fashioned protectionism.
  • The language is nothing but a fig leaf that does not really address the problem.
British Dictionary definitions for fig leaf

fig leaf

noun
1.
a leaf from a fig tree
2.
a representation of a leaf, usually a vine leaf rather than an actual fig leaf, used in painting or sculpture to cover the genitals of nude figures
3.
a device intended to conceal something regarded as shameful or indecent
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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Difficulty index for fig leaf

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fig

7
8
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Quotes with fig leaf