noun, plural leaves [leevz] /livz/.
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- leadwort family,
- leaf beetle,
- leaf blight,
- leaf blotch,
- leaf bud,
- leaf butterfly
Origin of leaf
noun plural leaves (liːvz)
Word Origin for leaf
"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.
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.
Turn pages, as in browsing or searching for something. For example, There she sat, leafing through the various catalogs. This expression employs leaf in the sense of “turn over the leaves of a book,” a usage dating from the mid-1600s.
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