- 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
Related Words for leafingneedle, stalk, frond, petal, sheet, scale, blade, leaflet, flag, pad, bract, stipule, petiole, paper, folio, scan, browse, skim, riffle, glance
Examples from the Web for leafing
Contemporary Examples of leafing
Holding them in my hands, leafing through the pages, is a comfort to me.Larry McMurtry: May the Books Flourish!
September 5, 2013
As an adult she was a “newsagent reader,” leafing through copies at newsstands before buying the more refined Sunday Telegraph.Brits Bid ‘World’ Goodbye
July 10, 2011
“I hope to sell other works” she said, and returned to leafing through her books of transparencies.The Coolest Works at Frieze
October 22, 2009
Historical Examples of leafing
Eudora's, behind her trees and leafing vines, was gray for lack of paint.The Yates Pride
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
I have watched the leafing of that lily, and I have watched its budding.The Story of Opal
Leafing, blossoming, and ripening early (blossoming soon after Riparia).The Grapes of New York
U. P. Hedrick
"Very interesting indeed," Hellman said, leafing through the book.One Man's Poison
The flower-like delicacy of leafing out is wonderfully prolonged.A Northern Countryside
- 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
"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.
- 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