- 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.
Origin of defoliate
Related Words for defoliationconfusion, desolation, ruin, havoc, ravages, ruination, loss, pillage, plunder, depredation, waste, demolition, defoliation, spoliation
Examples from the Web for defoliation
Historical Examples of defoliation
Defoliation of seedlings and bearing trees often occurs in July and August.
Also shriveled kernels are the result of defoliation by early frosts which may be very local and affect some trees and not others.
Therefore, trees deprived of their foliage are liable to perish, and they are injured in proportion to their defoliation.
Caterpillars, grubs, and beetles specialize on defoliation and feed upon the leaves, the lungs of the trees.The Spell of the Rockies
Enos A. Mills
The aphids were very numerous and unfortunately caused the defoliation of all the currants with the exception of the blacks.
- 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
Word Origin for defoliate
Word Origin and History for defoliation
1793, perhaps a back-formation from defoliation. Earlier in this sense was defoil (c.1600). Related: Defoliated; defoliating.