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.
to lose leaves.
(of a tree) having lost its leaves, especially by a natural process.
- de·fo·li·a·tion, noun
- de·fo·li·a·tor, noun
- un·de·fo·li·at·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
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
to deprive (a plant) of its leaves, as by the use of a herbicide, or (of a plant) to shed its leaves
(of a plant) having shed its leaves
- defoliation, noun
- defoliator, noun
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