from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A usually green, flattened, lateral structure attached to a stem and functioning as a principal organ of photosynthesis and transpiration in most plants.
  • noun A leaflike organ or structure.
  • noun Leaves considered as a group; foliage.
  • noun The state or time of having or showing leaves.
  • noun The leaves of a plant used or processed for a specific purpose.
  • noun Any of the sheets of paper bound in a book, each side of which constitutes a page.
  • noun A very thin sheet of material, especially metal.
  • noun Such leaves considered as a group.
  • noun A hinged or removable section for a table top.
  • noun A hinged or otherwise movable section of a folding door, shutter, or gate.
  • noun A section of drawbridge that moves upward or to the side.
  • noun One of several metal strips forming a leaf spring.
  • intransitive verb To produce leaves; put forth foliage.
  • intransitive verb To turn pages, as in searching or browsing.
  • intransitive verb To turn through the pages of.
  • idiom (take a leaf from (someone)) To use (someone) as an example.
  • idiom (take a leaf from/out of) To use (someone) as an example.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An expanded, usually green, organ of a plant, of transient duration, produced laterally from a stem or branch, and, with others, arranged upon the stem in a definite and symmetrical order.
  • noun Anything resembling a leaf, as in being flat and relatively broad, or in being a flexible or movable attachment or addition to something else.
  • noun A separately movable division of a folding or sliding door, fire-screen, table, hinge, etc.
  • noun A very thin sheet of hammered metal; foil: as, gold- leaf.
  • noun A portion of fat lying in a separate fold or layer; especially, the fat about the kidneys of a pig (compare leaf-lard); hence, in local use, the kidney itself.
  • noun A tooth of a pinion, especially when the pinion is small.
  • noun In architecture, an ornament resembling or representing a leaf of a plant; a foliation.
  • noun A flap, as of a hat.
  • noun In tapestry-weaving, one half the threads of the warp. As a preliminary to working a tapestry these leaves are separated, one being brought nearer the workman and the other left in the background.
  • noun In zoology, a leaf-like part or organ. See noseleaf, and compare leaflet, 4.
  • noun A distemper in young lambs caused by feeding on leaves
  • To shoot out leaves; produce foliage: as, the trees leaf in May. Also leave.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A colored, usually green, expansion growing from the side of a stem or rootstock, in which the sap for the use of the plant is elaborated under the influence of light; one of the parts of a plant which collectively constitute its foliage.
  • noun (Bot.) A special organ of vegetation in the form of a lateral outgrowth from the stem, whether appearing as a part of the foliage, or as a cotyledon, a scale, a bract, a spine, or a tendril.
  • noun Something which is like a leaf in being wide and thin and having a flat surface, or in being attached to a larger body by one edge or end
  • noun A part of a book or folded sheet containing two pages upon its opposite sides.
  • noun A side, division, or part, that slides or is hinged, as of window shutters, folding doors, etc.
  • noun The movable side of a table.
  • noun A very thin plate.
  • noun A portion of fat lying in a separate fold or layer.
  • noun One of the teeth of a pinion, especially when small.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any beetle which feeds upon leaves; esp., any species of the family Chrysomelidæ, as the potato beetle and helmet beetle.
  • noun a draw-bridge having a platform or leaf which swings vertically on hinges.
  • noun (Bot.) a bud which develops into leaves or a leafy branch.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any butterfly which, in the form and colors of its wings, resembles the leaves of plants upon which it rests; esp., butterflies of the genus Kallima, found in Southern Asia and the East Indies.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a small moth (Phycis indigenella), the larva of which feeds upon leaves of the apple tree, and forms its nest by crumpling and fastening leaves together in clusters.
  • noun the fat which lies in leaves or layers within the body of an animal.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a jumping plant louse of the family Psyllidæ.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any tree frog of the genus Phyllomedusa.


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

[Middle English, from Old English lēaf.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English leef, from Old English lēaf, from Proto-Germanic *lauban (compare Dutch loof, German Laub), from Proto-Indo-European *leup- 'to peel, break off' (compare Irish luibh 'herb', Latin liber 'bast; book', Lithuanian lúoba 'bark', Albanian labë 'rind').


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