Definition of fig leaf in English:

fig leaf

Syllabification: fig leaf


  • 1A leaf of a fig tree, often depicted as concealing the genitals in paintings and sculpture.
    More example sentences
    • The young woman, whose speech and behavior reek of defiance bordering on dementia, disapproves of the puritanism that placed a plaster fig leaf over the genitals of a statue of God.
    • More sympathetic observers like Peter Kolb suggested that as a natural fig leaf it modestly concealed the female genitals.
    • This was not the mythical Pan, half-man and half-goat, but a mature human male whose nudity was compromised only by the prominent fig leaf covering his genitals.
  • 1.1A thing designed to conceal a difficulty or embarrassment: the amendment was just a fig leaf designed to cover the cracks in the party
    More example sentences
    • They are a political fig leaf to cover the government's embarrassment over that.
    • This is merely a fig leaf to cover up its ruthless attempts to preserve the ability to extract huge profits from those artists.
    • Authoritarianism, barely concealed under the fig leaf of ‘democracy’, became its watchword.


early 16th century: with reference to the story of Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:7).

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody