Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A stylized representation of the leaf of a fig, used especially to conceal genitals depicted in works of art.
  • n. Something that serves as a usually insufficient concealment or camouflage: "Many fallen executives are still allowed the fig leaf of 'resignation'” ( David Pauly).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A leaf of the fig plant.
  • n. A representation of leaf of a fig plant used to cover the genitals of a nude figure in a work of art (alluding to Genesis iii 7, in which Adam and Eve use fig leaves to hide their nakedness).
  • n. Anything used to conceal something undesirable or that one does not want to be discovered.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The leaf from a fig tree.
  • An ornamental design shaped like the leaf of a fig tree, used in architecture; also, a design shaped like a fig leaf to cover genitalia in sculpture or paintings -- in reference to the biblical story in Genesis of Adam and Eve, who covered their privates with fig leaves.
  • Anything used to conceal what is considered embarrassing or indecent. See sense 2.
  • n. the leaf tree; hence, in allusion to the first clothing of Adam and Eve (Genesis iii.7), a covering for a thing that ought to be concealed; esp., an inadequate covering; a symbol for affected modesty.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The leaf of a fig-tree; figuratively, a thin or partial covering, in allusion to the first covering of Adam and Eve; a makeshift.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a covering consisting of anything intended to conceal something regarded as shameful
  • n. a leaf from a fig tree

Etymologies

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Examples

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