[ verb dee-foh-lee-eyt; adjective dee-foh-lee-it, -eyt ]
/ verb diˈfoʊ liˌeɪt; adjective diˈfoʊ li ɪt, -ˌeɪt /
verb (used with object), de·fo·li·at·ed, de·fo·li·at·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·fo·li·at·ed, de·fo·li·at·ing.
to lose leaves.
(of a tree) having lost its leaves, especially by a natural process.
Origin of defoliate
Related formsde·fo·li·a·tion, nounde·fo·li·a·tor, nounun·de·fo·li·at·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for defoliate
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
Derived Formsdefoliation, noundefoliator, noun
Word Origin for defoliate
C18: from Medieval Latin dēfoliāre, from Latin de- + folium leaf
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