Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


[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. 2017.
Cite This Source
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


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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for topiary

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for topiary

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for topiary