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defoliate

[ verb dee-foh-lee-eyt; adjective dee-foh-lee-it, -eyt ]
/ verb di藞fo蕣 li藢e瑟t; adjective di藞fo蕣 li 瑟t, -藢e瑟t /
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verb (used with object), de路fo路li路at路ed, de路fo路li路at路ing.
to strip (a tree, bush, etc.) of leaves.
to destroy or cause widespread loss of leaves in (an area of jungle, forest, etc.), as by using chemical sprays or incendiary bombs, in order to deprive enemy troops or guerrilla forces of concealment.
verb (used without object), de路fo路li路at路ed, de路fo路li路at路ing.
to lose leaves.
adjective
(of a tree) having lost its leaves, especially by a natural process.
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Origin of defoliate

1785鈥1795; <Medieval Latin d膿foli膩tus, past participle of d膿foli膩re, equivalent to Latin d膿-de- + foli(um) leaf + -膩tus-ate1

OTHER WORDS FROM defoliate

de路fo路li路a路tion, nounde路fo路li路a路tor, nounun路de路fo路li路at路ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use defoliate in a sentence

  • When neglected for two or three years, they often defoliate large trees.

    Soil Culture|J. H. Walden

British Dictionary definitions for defoliate

defoliate

verb (di藧藞f蓹蕣l瑟藢e瑟t)
to deprive (a plant) of its leaves, as by the use of a herbicide, or (of a plant) to shed its leaves
adjective (di藧藞f蓹蕣l瑟瑟t)
(of a plant) having shed its leaves

Derived forms of defoliate

defoliation, noundefoliator, noun

Word Origin for defoliate

C18: from Medieval Latin d膿foli膩re, from Latin de- + folium leaf
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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