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topiary

[toh-pee-er-ee] /ˈtoʊ piˌɛr i/ Horticulture
adjective
1.
(of a plant) clipped or trimmed into fantastic shapes.
2.
of or relating to such trimming.
noun, plural topiaries.
3.
topiary work; the topiary art.
4.
a garden containing such work.
Origin of topiary
1585-1595
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for topiary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In large gardens there are always one or two professional gardeners who understand the topiary art.

  • An affected admiration for Dutch topiary also became a fashion.

  • May I add that poodles ought not to be shaved with a safety-razor, but should be trimmed by a topiary expert?

  • Unlike those found in the gardens of Colonial days, they should be carefully clipped, sometimes for topiary effects.

    Garden Ornaments Mary H. Northend
  • There is a quaint charm in the results of the topiary art, in the prim imagery of evergreens, that all ages have felt.

  • There were bushes exhibiting fantastic examples of the topiary art, and here, too, was a sun-dial.

    Bat Wing Sax Rohmer
  • Through the great number of formal gardens laid out within a few years in America, the topiary art has had a certain revival.

    Old-Time Gardens Alice Morse Earle
British Dictionary definitions for topiary

topiary

/ˈtəʊpɪərɪ/
adjective
1.
of, relating to, or characterized by the trimming or training of trees or bushes into artificial decorative animal, geometric, or other shapes
noun
2.
(pl) -aries
  1. topiary work
  2. a topiary garden
3.
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
adj.

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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