Definition of topiary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtōpēˌerē/

noun (plural topiaries)

Image of topiary
1The art or practice of clipping shrubs or trees into ornamental shapes.
Example sentences
  • The horticultural art of topiary dates back at least 2,000 years, to when the ancient Romans cut bushes and trees into ornamental shapes.
  • Some varieties lend themselves to topiary sculpture, espalier, or bonsai training.
  • In fact, topiary pruning can create health hazards for the plant, lower it's value and waste time and money.
1.1Shrubs or trees clipped into ornamental shapes: a cottage surrounded by topiary and flowers
More example sentences
  • Container and garden grown rosemary takes well to training into topiaries.
  • There were two expensive holly topiaries planted on either side of the tall elegant columns at the front door.
  • You can make and maintain 25 stunning topiaries to add elegance and beauty to your home.



Pronunciation: /ˌtōpēˈe(ə)rēən/
Example sentences
  • The grounds are magnificent with an attractive walled garden, a topiarian maze and nature trails.
  • The gardens have small topiarian trees, rose arbours, palm and lemon trees and a profusion of colourful flowers.
  • Byatt's stories simmer with a sensuality and passion which, like topiarian trees in a formal garden, are pruned and trained into cultivated shapes whilst retaining the wild scent of the orchard.


Pronunciation: /-ərist/
Example sentences
  • I'd finished putting some chunky brass screws into the fence panels ripped loose by the rampaging Italian topiarists and was getting ready to fill up the birds' seed feeders.
  • James had run his hair salon - Total Look in Epsom - for 20 years when he made a momentous decision four years ago: he would become a topiarist, and trim trees and bushes instead of hair.
  • It's all down to the skill, imagination and personality of the topiarist in question.


Late 16th century: from French topiaire, from Latin topiarius 'ornamental gardener', from topia opera 'fancy gardening', from a diminutive of Greek topos 'place'.

  • Topiary is from French topiaire, from Latin topia opera ‘fancy gardening’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: to·pi·ar·y

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