• synonyms

fig leaf

See more synonyms for fig leaf on Thesaurus.com
  1. the leaf of a fig tree.
  2. a representation of a fig leaf, used as an ornament in architecture, as a cover for the genitalia on a statue or in a painting, etc.
  3. something intended to conceal what may be considered indecorous or indecent: to approach the facts of life with the fig leaves of roundabout expressions.
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Origin of fig leaf

First recorded in 1525–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for fig leaf

visor, veil, cloak, camouflage, alibi, ploy, ruse, excuse, guise, pretense, lid, canvas, sheet, mask, screen, cap, envelope, roof, jacket, front

Examples from the Web for fig leaf

Historical Examples of fig leaf

  • A woman, with only a fig-leaf for dress, has a double tail instead of legs.

    The Cathedral Builders

    Leader Scott

  • It was also in the Spring that Eve wearied of her fig-leaf toque.

  • Yes, let her bring him to us at once, like a savage, without any fig-leaf.

  • That falsehood has not even a fig-leaf to cover its absurdity.

  • And so for a while she made pride serve as fig-leaf to her nakedness.

British Dictionary definitions for fig leaf

fig leaf

  1. a leaf from a fig tree
  2. a representation of a leaf, usually a vine leaf rather than an actual fig leaf, used in painting or sculpture to cover the genitals of nude figures
  3. a device intended to conceal something regarded as shameful or indecent
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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