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[toh-pee-er-ee] /ˈtoʊ piˌɛr i/ Horticulture
(of a plant) clipped or trimmed into fantastic shapes.
of or relating to such trimming.
noun, plural topiaries.
topiary work; the topiary art.
a garden containing such work.
Origin of topiary
1585-95; < Latin topiārius pertaining to landscape-gardening or to ornamental gardens, equivalent to topi(a) (plural) artificial landscape (< Greek tópia (singular topion), diminutive of tópos place) + -ārius -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for topiary
  • Compact, well branched, good for shearing into formal hedges or topiary shapes.
  • Dense foliage right to ground makes it good for screens, hedges, clipped topiary shapes.
  • To spruce them up for the holidays, set the topiary tree in an attractive container.
  • topiary involves pruning trees and shrubs into geometric or animal shapes.
  • Both pollarding and topiary are specialized applications that involve pruning to change the natural form of trees.
  • Good ornamental that is also useful for windbreaks, shelter belts, hedges and topiary work.
  • Formal gardens of roses, herbs and topiary near the house give way to an open lawn that slopes down to the water.
  • Espalier or topiary: geometrical plant forms achieved through pruning.
British Dictionary definitions for topiary


of, relating to, or characterized by the trimming or training of trees or bushes into artificial decorative animal, geometric, or other shapes
(pl) -aries
  1. topiary work
  2. a topiary garden
the art of topiary
Derived Forms
topiarian (ˌtəʊpɪˈɛərɪən) adjective
topiarist, noun
Word Origin
C16: from French topiaire, from Latin topia decorative garden work, from Greek topion little place, from topos place
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 topiary

1590s, from Latin topiarius "of or pertaining to ornamental gardening," from topia "ornamental gardening," from Greek topia, plural of topion, originally "a field," diminutive of topos "place" (see topos). The noun is first recorded 1908, from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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