American English

Definition of leaf noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (pl. leaves
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  1. 1[countable] a flat green part of a plant, growing from a stem or branch or from the root lettuce/cabbage/oak leaves The trees are just coming into leaf. the dead leaves of autumn Topic CollocationsThe Living Worldanimals animals mate/breed/reproduce/feed (on something) fish/amphibians swim/spawn (= lay eggs) birds fly/migrate/nest/sing insects crawl/fly/bite/sting insects/bees/locusts swarm bees collect/gather nectar/pollen spiders spin/weave a web snakes/lizards shed their skins bears/hedgehogs/frogs hibernate insect larvae grow/develop/pupate an egg/a chick/a larva hatches attract/find/choose a mate produce/release eggs/sperm lay/fertilize/incubate/hatch eggs inhabit a forest/a reef/the coast mark/enter/defend (a) territory stalk/hunt/capture/catch/kill preyplants and fungi trees/plants grow/bloom/blossom/flower a seed germinates/sprouts leaves/buds/roots/shoots appear/develop/form flower buds swell/open a fungus grows/spreads/colonizes something pollinate/fertilize a flower/plant produce/release/spread/disperse pollen/seeds/spores produce/bear fruit develop/grow/form roots/shoots/leaves provide/supply/absorb/extract/release nutrients perform/increase/reduce photosynthesisbacteria and viruses bacteria/microbes/viruses grow/spread/multiply bacteria/microbes live/thrive in/on something bacteria/microbes/viruses evolve/colonize something/cause disease bacteria break something down/convert something (into something) a virus enters/invades something/the body a virus mutates/evolves/replicates (itself) be infected with/contaminated with/exposed to a new strain of a virus/drug-resistant bacteria contain/carry/harbor bacteria/a virus kill/destroy/eliminate harmful/deadly bacteria see also bay leaf, fig leaf
  2. 2-leaf, -leafed, -leaved (in adjectives) having leaves of the type or number mentioned a four-leaf clover a broad-leaved plant
  3. 3[countable] a sheet of paper, especially a page in a book She carefully turned the leaves of the precious volume. see also flyleaf, loose-leaf, overleaf
  4. 4[uncountable] metal, especially gold or silver, in the form of very thin sheets gold leaf
  5. 5[countable] a part of a table that can be lifted up or pulled into position in order to make the table bigger
  6. Idioms
    take a page/leaf from/out of somebody's book
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    to copy someone's behavior and do things in the same way that they do, because they are successful synonym emulate
    turn over a new leaf
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    to change your way of life, to become a better, more responsible person
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: leaf