Definitions for fig leaf

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word fig leaf

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

fig′ leaf`(n.)

  1. the leaf of a fig tree.

    Category: Plants

  2. a representation of a fig leaf, esp. a cover for the genitalia on a statue or in a painting.

    Category: Fine Arts

  3. something intended to conceal what may be considered improper.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. fig leaf(noun)

    a leaf from a fig tree

  2. fig leaf(noun)

    a covering consisting of anything intended to conceal something regarded as shameful


  1. fig leaf(Noun)

    A leaf of the fig plant.

  2. fig leaf(Noun)

    A representation of leaf of a fig plant used to cover the genitals of a nude figure in a work of art (alluding to Genesis iii 7, in which Adam and Eve use fig leaves to hide their nakedness).

  3. fig leaf(Noun)

    Anything used to conceal something undesirable or that one does not want to be discovered.


  1. Fig leaf

    A fig leaf is literally a leaf of the fig tree. The term is widely used figuratively associated with the covering up of an act or an object that is embarrassing or distasteful with something of innocuous appearance. The term is a metaphorical reference to the Biblical Book of Genesis, in which Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover their nudity after eating the fruit from the Tree of knowledge of good and evil. Sometimes paintings and statues had the genitals of their subjects covered by a representation of an actual fig leaf or similar object, either as part of the work or added afterwards for perceived modesty.


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