[adjective foh-lee-it, -eyt; verb foh-lee-eyt]
See more synonyms for foliate on
  1. covered with or having leaves.
  2. like a leaf, as in shape.
  3. Also foliated. Architecture.
    1. ornamented with or composed of foil: foliate tracery.
    2. ornamented with representations of foliage: a foliate capital.
  4. Petrology, Mineralogy. foliated(def 2).
verb (used without object), fo·li·at·ed, fo·li·at·ing.
  1. to put forth leaves.
  2. to split into thin leaflike layers or laminae.
verb (used with object), fo·li·at·ed, fo·li·at·ing.
  1. to shape like a leaf or leaves.
  2. to decorate with foils or foliage.
  3. to form into thin sheets.
  4. to spread over with a thin metallic backing.
  5. Printing. to number the folios or leaves, as distinguished from pages, of (a manuscript or book).

Origin of foliate

First recorded in 1620–30, foliate is from the Latin word foliātus leafy. See folium, -ate1
Related formssub·fo·li·ate, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for foliate

Historical Examples of foliate

British Dictionary definitions for foliate


adjective (ˈfəʊlɪɪt, -ˌeɪt)
    1. relating to, possessing, or resembling leaves
    2. in combinationtrifoliate
  1. (of certain metamorphic rocks, esp schists) having the constituent minerals arranged in thin leaflike layers
verb (ˈfəʊlɪˌeɪt)
  1. (tr) to ornament with foliage or with leaf forms such as foils
  2. to hammer or cut (metal) into thin plates or foil
  3. (tr) to coat or back (glass, etc) with metal foil
  4. (tr) to number the leaves of (a book, manuscript, etc)Compare paginate
  5. (intr) (of plants) to grow leaves

Word Origin for foliate

C17: from Latin foliātus leaved, leafy
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

Word Origin and History for foliate

1620s, from Latin foliatus "leaved, leafy," from folium (see folio).


1660s, "to apply silver leaf," from Latin foliatus "leaved, leafy," from folium (see folio). Meaning "to put forth leaves" is from 1775. Related: Foliated; foliating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper