Fig leaf
Fig Fig (f[i^]g), n. [F. figue the fruit of the tree, Pr. figa, fr. L. ficus fig tree, fig. Cf. {Fico}.] 1. (Bot.) A small fruit tree ({Ficus Carica}) with large leaves, known from the remotest antiquity. It was probably native from Syria westward to the Canary Islands. [1913 Webster]

2. The fruit of a fig tree, which is of round or oblong shape, and of various colors. [1913 Webster]

Note: The fruit of a fig tree is really the hollow end of a stem, and bears numerous achenia inside the cavity. Many species have little, hard, inedible figs, and in only a few does the fruit become soft and pulpy. The fruit of the cultivated varieties is much prized in its fresh state, and also when dried or preserved. See {Caprification}. [1913 Webster]

3. A small piece of tobacco. [U.S.] [1913 Webster]

4. The value of a fig, practically nothing; a fico; -- used in scorn or contempt. ``A fig for Peter.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Cochineal fig}. See {Conchineal fig}.

{Fig dust}, a preparation of fine oatmeal for feeding caged birds.

{Fig faun}, one of a class of rural deities or monsters supposed to live on figs. ``Therefore shall dragons dwell there with the fig fauns.'' --Jer. i. 39. (Douay version).

{Fig gnat} (Zo["o]l.), a small fly said to be injurious to figs.

{Fig leaf}, 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.

{Fig marigold} (Bot.), the name of several plants of the genus {Mesembryanthemum}, some of which are prized for the brilliancy and beauty of their flowers.

{Fig tree} (Bot.), any tree of the genus {Ficus}, but especially {F. Carica} which produces the fig of commerce. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fig leaf — 1. The leaf from a fig tree. [PJC] 2. 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fig leaf — fig leaves 1) N COUNT A fig leaf is a large leaf which comes from the fig tree. A fig leaf is sometimes used in painting and sculpture to cover the genitals of a naked body. 2) N COUNT: usu with supp (disapproval) People sometimes refer… …   English dictionary

  • fig leaf — fig ,leaf noun count 1. ) a leaf from a FIG tree. You often see a fig leaf covering the sex organs of people in paintings. 2. ) something that hides another thing that is considered morally wrong …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • fig leaf — fig′ leaf n. 1) pln the leaf of a fig tree 2) fia a representation of a fig leaf, esp. a cover for the genitalia on a statue or in a painting 3) something intended to conceal what may be considered improper …   From formal English to slang

  • fig leaf — n. 1. a leaf of a fig tree 2. a representation of such a leaf used, as in sculpture, to conceal the genitals of a nude 3. anything intended to conceal …   English World dictionary

  • fig leaf — ► NOUN ▪ a leaf of a fig tree used to conceal the genitals in paintings and sculpture. ORIGIN with reference to the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible, who made clothes out of fig leaves after becoming aware of their nakedness …   English terms dictionary

  • fig leaf — n the large leaf of the fig tree, sometimes shown in paintings as covering people s sex organs …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Fig leaf — A fig leaf is the covering up of an act or an object that is embarrassing or disagreeable. The term is a metaphorical reference to the Biblical Book of Genesis, in which Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover their nakedness after eating the fruit …   Wikipedia

  • fig leaf — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms fig leaf : singular fig leaf plural fig leaves 1) a leaf from a fig tree. You often see a fig leaf covering the sex organs of people in paintings. 2) something that hides another thing that is considered… …   English dictionary

  • fig leaf — 1. the leaf of a fig tree. 2. a representation of a fig leaf, used as an ornament in architecture, as a cover for the genitalia on a statue or in a painting, etc. 3. something intended to conceal what may be considered indecorous or indecent: to… …   Universalium

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