leaf bud



See under bud1(def 1a).

Origin of leaf bud

First recorded in 1655–65




  1. a small axillary or terminal protuberance on a plant, containing rudimentary foliage (leaf bud), the rudimentary inflorescence (flower bud), or both (mixed bud).
  2. an undeveloped or rudimentary stem or branch of a plant.
Zoology. (in certain animals of low organization) a prominence that develops into a new individual, sometimes permanently attached to the parent and sometimes becoming detached; gemma.
Mycology. a small, rounded outgrowth produced from a fungus spore or cell by a process of asexual reproduction, eventually separating from the parent cell as a new individual: commonly produced by yeast and a few other fungi.
Anatomy. any small rounded part.
an immature or undeveloped person or thing.
Slang. marijuana, especially potent marijuana from the buds, or flowering tops, of the hemp plant.

verb (used without object), bud·ded, bud·ding.

to put forth or produce buds.
to begin to develop.
to be in an early stage of development.

verb (used with object), bud·ded, bud·ding.

to cause to bud.
Horticulture. to graft by inserting a single bud into the stock.


    in the bud, in an immature or undeveloped state: a Shakespeare in the bud.Also in bud.
    nip in the bud, to stop (something) in the beginning of its development: The rebellion was nipped in the bud.

Origin of bud

1350–1400; Middle English budde bud, spray, pod; akin to German Hagebutte hip, Old Norse budda purse, dialectal Swedish bodd head, Dutch buidel bag, purse, Middle Low German buddich swollen
Related formsbud·der, nounbud·less, adjectivebud·like, adjectivenon·bud·ding, adjective, noun
Can be confusedbudder butter
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for leaf bud

Historical Examples of leaf bud

  • There must be two kinds of peach and apricot buds,—a flower-bud and a leaf-bud.

  • But my stories grow in me like plants, and this is only in the leaf-bud.

  • Bulb, a leaf-bud with fleshy scales, usually subterranean, 46.

  • There were the woods, beginning to be beautiful, although not a leaf-bud was yet visible.

    A Round Dozen

    Susan Coolidge

  • In both forms the adventitious growth is much more frequently a flower-bud or an inflorescence than a leaf-bud or a branch.

    Vegetable Teratology

    Maxwell T. Masters

British Dictionary definitions for leaf bud




a swelling on a plant stem consisting of overlapping immature leaves or petals
  1. a partially opened flower
  2. (in combination)rosebud
any small budlike outgrowthtaste buds
something small or immature
an asexually produced outgrowth in simple organisms, such as yeasts, and the hydra that develops into a new individual
a slang word for marijuana
in bud at the stage of producing buds
nip in the bud to put an end to (an idea, movement, etc) in its initial stages

verb buds, budding or budded

(intr) (of plants and some animals) to produce buds
(intr) to begin to develop or grow
(tr) horticulture to graft (a bud) from one plant onto another, usually by insertion under the bark

Word Origin for bud

C14 budde, of Germanic origin; compare Icelandic budda purse, Dutch buidel




informal, mainly US short for buddy
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 leaf bud



late 14c., budde, origin unknown, perhaps from Old French boter "push forward, thrust," itself a Germanic word (cf. Dutch bot "bud," Old Saxon budil "bag, purse," German Beutel), or perhaps from Old English budd "beetle."



c.1400; see bud (n.). Related: Budded; budding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

leaf bud in Medicine




A small, rounded anatomical structure or organic part, such as a taste bud.
An asexual reproductive structure, as in yeast or a hydra, that consists of an outgrowth capable of developing into a new individual.


To put forth or cause to put forth buds.
To reproduce asexually by forming a bud.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

leaf bud in Science




A small swelling on a branch or stem, containing an undeveloped shoot, leaf, or flower. Some species have mixed buds containing two of these structures, or even all three.Terminal buds occur at the end of a stem, twig, or branch.Axillary buds, also known as lateral buds, occur in the axils of leaves (in the upper angle of where the leaf grows from the stem).Accessory buds often occur clustered around terminal buds or above and on either side of axillary buds. Accessory buds are usually smaller than terminal and axillary buds.
A small rounded outgrowth on an asexually reproducing organism, such as a yeast or hydra, that is capable of developing into a new individual. See more at budding.
A tiny part or structure, such as a taste bud, that is shaped like a plant bud.


To form or produce a bud or buds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with leaf bud


see nip in the bud.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.