- any tree or shrub belonging to the genus Ficus, of the mulberry family, especially a small tree, F. carica, native to southwestern Asia, bearing a turbinate or pear-shaped fruit that is eaten fresh, preserved, or dried.
- the fruit of such a tree or shrub, or of any related species.
- any of various plants having a fruit somewhat resembling this.
- a contemptibly trifling or worthless amount; the least bit: His help wasn't worth a fig.
- a gesture of contempt.
Origin of fig1
- dress or array: to appear at a party in full fig.
- condition: to feel in fine fig.
Origin of fig2
Examples from the Web for fig
Or is Rand co-opting them by merely using his newfound adviser as a fig leaf?Is Rand Paul a Secret Hawk? Or Maybe Not a Total Dove?
May 9, 2014
Finally in 2003, the absurdity of the explosive numbers forced MLB to institute a fig leaf of testing.Are Athletes Using Your Tax Dollars to Juice?
May 2, 2014
This fig leaf of legality must be stripped away, otherwise violence will persist.Satellites Correctly Predict Military Campaign Against Civilians in Sudan
December 9, 2013
Powers never found the house he was looking for, because he never cared a fig for how he might pay for it.A Plot Against Living: J.F. Powers’s ‘Suitable Accommodations’
D. G. Myers
August 20, 2013
That leaves Tzipi LIvni, who appears with each passing day to be little more than a fig leaf.Israeli Deputy Defense Minister: Government 'Will Be Against' Any Palestinian State
June 6, 2013
In his sane moments he did not care a fig for anybody's birthday.Viviette
William J. Locke
A fig for Macbeth's philosophy that "blood will have blood."
Let them boast of their Moorish gallantry and their infidel marriages—a fig for them!Gomez Arias
Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
But Gervaise ended by not caring a fig for these thwacks, not more than she did for anything else.L'Assommoir
If he be a slave who has gathered, he shall receive a stroke for every grape or fig.Laws
- any moraceous tree or shrub of the tropical and subtropical genus Ficus, in which the flowers are borne inside a pear-shaped receptacle
- the fruit of any of these trees, esp of F. carica, which develops from the receptacle and has sweet flesh containing numerous seedlike structures
- any of various plants or trees having a fruit similar to this
- Hottentot fig or sour fig a succulent plant, Mesembryanthemum edule, of southern Africa, having a capsular fruit containing edible pulp: family Aizoaceae
- (used with a negative) something of negligible value; jotI don't care a fig for your opinion
- Also: feg dialect a piece or segment from an orange
- Also called: fico an insulting gesture made with the thumb between the first two fingers or under the upper teeth
- (foll by out or up) to dress (up) or rig (out)
- to administer stimulating drugs to (a horse)
- dress, appearance, or array (esp in the phrase in full fig)
- physical condition or formin bad fig
Word Origin and History for fig
early 13c., from Old French figue (12c.), from Old Provençal figa, from Vulgar Latin *fica, from Latin ficus "fig tree, fig," from a pre-Indo-European Mediterranean language, possibly a Semitic one (cf. Phoenician pagh "half-ripe fig"). A reborrowing of a word that had been taken directly from Latin as Old English fic.
The insulting sense of the word in Shakespeare, etc. (A fig for ...) is 1570s, in part from fig as "small, valueless thing," but also from Greek and Italian use of their versions of the word as slang for "vulva," apparently because of how a ripe fig looks when split open [Rawson, Weekley]. Giving the fig (French faire la figue, Spanish dar la higa) was an indecent gesture of ancient provenance, made by putting the thumb between two fingers or into the mouth, with the intended effect of the modern gesture of "flipping the bird" (see bird (n.3)). See sycophant. Use of fig leaf in figurative sense of "flimsy disguise" (1550s) is from Gen. iii:7.
Idioms and Phrases with fig
see under not give a damn.