- one of the expanded, usually green organs borne by the stem of a plant.
- any similar or corresponding lateral outgrowth of a stem.
- a petal: a rose leaf.
- leaves collectively; foliage.
- Bibliography. a unit generally comprising two printed, blank, or illustrated pages of a book, one on each side.
- a thin sheet of metal: silver leaf.
- a lamina or layer.
- a sliding, hinged, or detachable flat part, as of a door or tabletop.
- a section of a drawbridge.
- a single strip of metal in a leaf spring.
- a tooth of a small gear wheel, as of a pinion.
- leaf fat.
- Textiles. shaft(def 14).
- to put forth leaves.
- to turn pages, especially quickly (usually followed by through): to leaf through a book.
- to thumb or turn, as the pages of a book or magazine, in a casual or cursory inspection of the contents.
- in leaf, covered with foliage; having leaves: the pale green tint of the woods newly in leaf.
- take a leaf out of/fromsomeone's book, to follow someone's example; imitate: Some countries that took a leaf out of American industry's book are now doing very well for themselves.
- turn over a new leaf, to begin anew; make a fresh start: Every New Year's we make resolutions to turn over a new leaf.
Origin of leaf
- Mun·ro [muhn-roh] /mʌnˈroʊ/, 1905–76, U.S. author and illustrator of books for children.
Related Words for leafneedle, stalk, frond, petal, sheet, scale, blade, leaflet, flag, pad, bract, stipule, petiole, paper, folio, scan, browse, skim, riffle, glance
Examples from the Web for leaf
Contemporary Examples of leaf
A lot of us Republicans are having trouble getting the leaf blower started.The GOP Senate: A New Utopia Dawns
P. J. O’Rourke
November 8, 2014
But consider: inhaling one leaf has had the largest deleterious impact on human health of any single product in human history.Can You Really O.D. on Pot?
February 3, 2014
The x-rays and medical information initially belonged to plastic surgeon Michael Gurdin, who began working with Leaf in 1975.Marilyn Monroe Plastic Surgery Records to be Auctioned Off; Cara Delevingne May Star in Amanda Knox Film
The Fashion Beast Team
October 10, 2013
So, for example, Nissan this year cut the sticker price of the Leaf to $28,000—a reduction of $6,400, or 18 percent.Are We at the Electric Car’s Tipping Point?
June 1, 2013
My failure to see a microbe is a statement about the precision of my instrument, not about whether there is a microbe on the leaf.How Not to Cherry-Pick the Results of the Oregon Study (Ultrawonkish)
May 13, 2013
Historical Examples of leaf
The spirit of the strong man was moved, and he trembled like a leaf shaken by the wind.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Linda nodded, running a finger down the leaf over his heart.Her Father's Daughter
Is there no leaf, no root you know that would save me from death?Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
None of us had changed positions, so much as a leaf's thickness.A Woman Tenderfoot
Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
Dilly bent, and traced the outline of a leaf with her finger.Meadow Grass
- the main organ of photosynthesis and transpiration in higher plants, usually consisting of a flat green blade attached to the stem directly or by a stalkRelated adjectives: foliar, foliate
- foliage collectively
- in leaf (of shrubs, trees, etc) having a full complement of foliage leaves
- one of the sheets of paper in a book
- a hinged, sliding, or detachable part, such as an extension to a table
- metal in the form of a very thin flexible sheetgold leaf
- a foil or thin strip of metal in a composite material; lamina
- short for leaf spring
- the inner or outer wall of a cavity wall
- a crop that is harvested in the form of leaves
- a metal strip forming one of the laminations in a leaf spring
- a slang word for marijuana
- take a leaf out of someone's book or take a leaf from someone's book to imitate someone, esp in one particular course of action
- turn over a new leaf to begin a new and improved course of behaviour
- (when intr, usually foll by through) to turn (through pages, sheets, etc) cursorily
- (intr) (of plants) to produce leaves
Word Origin for leaf
Old English leaf "leaf of a plant; page of a book," from Proto-Germanic *laubaz (cf. Old Saxon lof, Old Norse lauf, Old Frisian laf, Dutch loof, Old High German loub, German Laub "foliage, leaves," Gothic lauf), perhaps from PIE *leup- "to peel off, break off" (cf. Lithuanian luobas, Old Church Slavonic lubu "bark, rind"). Extended 15c. to very thin sheets of metal (especially gold). Meaning "hinged flap on the side of a table" is from 1550s.
"to turn over (the pages of a book)," 1660s, from leaf (n.). The notion of a book page also is in the phrase to turn over a (new) leaf (1570s). Related: Leafed; leaved; leafing.
- An appendage growing from the stem of a plant. Leaves are extremely variable in form and function according to species. For example, the needles of pine trees, the spines of cacti, and the bright red parts of the poinsettia plant are all leaves modified for different purposes. However, most leaves are flat and green and adapted to capturing sunlight and carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. They consist of an outer tissue layer (the epidermis) through which water and gases are exchanged, a spongy inner layer of cells that contain chloroplasts, and veins that supply water and minerals and carry out food. Some leaves are simple, while others are compound, consisting of multiple leaflets. The flat part of the leaf, the blade, is often attached to the stem by a leafstalk.
In addition to the idiom beginning with leaf
- leaf through
- quake in one's boots (like a leaf)
- take a leaf out of someone's book
- turn over a new leaf