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[foh-lee-ij] /ˈfoʊ li ɪdʒ/
the leaves of a plant, collectively; leafage.
leaves in general.
the representation of leaves, flowers, and branches in painting, architectural ornament, etc.
Origin of foliage
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English foilage < Middle French fueillage, foillage, derivative of feuille leaf; influenced by Latin folium folium. See foil2, -age
Related forms
foliaged, adjective
unfoliaged, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for foliage
  • Leaves tumble into low spots, filling earthy troughs with foliage.
  • Outside, there are the added problems of foliage, tall buildings and hills.
  • The air underneath them is stagnant, as in a sauna, but their foliage is the only available shade.
  • If the foliage is low weeds, it may be a small stream and the snake may be one foot long.
  • The researchers then trained nectar-eating bats to find a feeder hidden in artificial foliage.
  • By any name, this rambunctious climber with lacy green foliage is an exceptional beauty in bloom.
  • The forest thickened with the crazy chaos of dark hardwood foliage.
  • In the foliage of several trees, he says, he noticed tiny swirls in the paint.
  • Early botanists believed that leaf insects actually incorporated the foliage they mimicked.
  • The fall foliage season with the blazing maples is one of nature's wonders.
British Dictionary definitions for foliage


the green leaves of a plant
sprays of leaves used for decoration
an ornamental leaflike design
Derived Forms
foliaged, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Old French fuellage, from fuelle leaf; influenced in form by Latin folium
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 foliage

mid-15c., from Middle French feuillage, from Old French feuille "leaf" (see foil (n.)). The form has altered by influence of Latin folium.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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