noun, plural leaves [leevz] /livz/.
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
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.
take a leaf out of someone's book
Imitate or follow someone's example, as in Harriet took a leaf out of her mother's book and began to keep track of how much money she was spending on food. This idiom alludes to tearing a page from a book. [c. 1800]
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