A leaf is part of a plant that's usually green and attached to it by a stem or stalk. In the fall, the leaves of many trees turn various bright colors before falling to the ground. In the spring, trees grow new leaves. Ahhh, the circle of life.

A plant's leaves are the organs that take part in photosynthesis, which brings it needed nutrients. From this botanical meaning comes another definition of leaf, "a sheet of printed paper or a page in a book." And when you leaf through a book, you turn its pages. You might also "tremble like a leaf," or shake with fear; or "turn over a new leaf," start a new part of your life with new resolutions or attitudes.

Definitions of leaf
  1. noun
    the main organ of photosynthesis and transpiration in higher plants
    synonyms: foliage, leafage
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    a reduced or scarcely developed leaf at the start of a plant's life (i.e., cotyledons) or in the early stages of leaf development
    floral leaf
    a modified leaf that is part of a flower
    dandelion green
    the foliage of the dandelion plant
    (botany) a leaf that that is modified in such a way as to resemble a pitcher or ewer
    sporophyl, sporophyll
    leaf in ferns and mosses that bears the sporangia
    blade, leaf blade
    especially a leaf of grass or the broad portion of a leaf as distinct from the petiole
    amplexicaul leaf
    a leaf with its base clasping the stem
    greenery, verdure
    green foliage
    part of a compound leaf
    compound leaf of a fern or palm or cycad
    the large floating leaf of an aquatic plant (as the water lily)
    scale, scale leaf
    a specialized leaf or bract that protects a bud or catkin
    fig leaf
    a leaf from a fig tree
    simple leaf
    a leaf that is not divided into parts
    compound leaf
    a leaf composed of a number of leaflets on a common stalk
    entire leaf
    a leaf having a smooth margin without notches or indentations
    crenate leaf
    a leaf having a scalloped margin
    serrate leaf
    a leaf having a margin notched like a saw with teeth pointing toward the apex
    dentate leaf
    a leaf having a toothed margin
    emarginate leaf
    a leaf having a notch at the apex
    erose leaf
    a leaf having a jagged margin as though gnawed
    runcinate leaf
    a leaf having incised margins with the lobes or teeth curved toward the base; as a dandelion leaf
    lobed leaf
    a leaf having deeply indented margins
    parallel-veined leaf
    a leaf whose veins run in parallel from the stem
    parted leaf
    a leaf having margins incised almost to the base so as to create distinct divisions or lobes
    prickly-edged leaf
    a leaf having prickly margins
    a cluster of leaves growing in crowded circles from a common center or crown (usually at or close to the ground)
    cotyledon, seed leaf
    embryonic leaf in seed-bearing plants
    in non-flowering plants, a sporophyll that bears only megasporangia
    in non-flowering plants, a sporophyll that bears only microsporangia
    flower petal, petal
    part of the perianth that is usually brightly colored
    one of the green parts that form the calyx of a flower
    pinna, pinnule
    division of a usually pinnately divided leaf
    lily pad
    floating leaves of a water lily
    a minute scale
    trifoliolate leaf
    having three leaflets
    quinquefoliate leaf
    a compound leaf having five leaflets
    palmate leaf
    a leaf resembling an open hand; having lobes radiating from a common point
    pinnate leaf
    a leaf resembling a feather; having the leaflets on each side of a common axis
    decompound leaf
    a leaf having divisions that are themselves compound
    acerate leaf, needle
    the leaf of a conifer
    acuminate leaf
    a leaf narrowing to a slender point
    cordate leaf
    a heart-shaped leaf
    cuneate leaf
    a wedge-shaped leaf having the acute angle at the base
    deltoid leaf
    a simple leaf shaped like a capital delta
    elliptic leaf
    a simple leaf shaped like an ellipse
    ensiform leaf
    a sword-shaped leaf; as of iris
    hastate leaf
    a leaf shaped like a spearhead with flaring pointed lobes at the base
    lanceolate leaf
    a leaf shaped like a lance head; tapering to a point at each end
    elongate leaf, linear leaf
    a long slender leaf
    lyrate leaf
    a simple leaf having curvature suggestive of a lyre
    obtuse leaf
    a simple leaf having a rounded or blunt tip
    oblanceolate leaf
    a leaf having a rounded apex and tapering base
    oblong leaf
    a simple leaf that is rounded at each end with parallel sides
    obovate leaf
    an egg-shaped leaf with the narrower end at the base
    ovate leaf
    an egg-shaped leaf with the broader end at the base
    orbiculate leaf
    circular or nearly circular leaf
    pandurate leaf, panduriform leaf
    a fiddle-shaped leaf
    peltate leaf
    a shield-shaped leaf; as a nasturtium leaf
    perfoliate leaf
    a leaf with the base united around--and apparently pierced by--the stem
    reniform leaf
    a simple kidney-shaped leaf
    sagittate-leaf, sagittiform leaf
    a leaf shaped like an arrow head
    spatulate leaf
    spatula-shaped leaf; having a broad rounded apex and narrow base
    denticulate leaf
    a leaf having a finely toothed margin; minutely dentate
    type of:
    plant organ
    a functional and structural unit of a plant or fungus
  2. verb
    produce leaves, of plants
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    type of:
    acquire, develop, get, grow, produce
    come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes)
  3. noun
    a sheet of any written or printed material (especially in a manuscript or book)
    synonyms: folio
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    a blank leaf in the front or back of a book
    a blank leaf inserted between the leaves of a book
    one side of one leaf (of a book or magazine or newspaper or letter etc.) or the written or pictorial matter it contains
    full page
    something that covers an entire page
    half page
    something that covers (the top or bottom) half of a page
    right-hand page
    left-hand page
    title page
    a page of a book displaying the title and author and publisher
    bastard title, half title
    a first page of some books displaying only the title of the book
    sports page
    any page in the sports section of a newspaper
    facing pages, spread, spread head, spreadhead
    two facing pages of a book or other publication
    foldout, gatefold
    an oversize page that is folded in to a book or magazine
    type of:
    piece of paper, sheet, sheet of paper
    paper used for writing or printing
  4. verb
    turn over pages
    leaf through a book”
    leaf a manuscript”
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    type of:
    turn, turn over
    cause to move around a center so as to show another side of
  5. verb
    look through a book or other written material
    “She leafed through the volume”
    synonyms: flick, flip, riff, riffle, thumb
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    type of:
    examine or consider with attention and in detail
  6. noun
    hinged or detachable flat section (as of a table or door)
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    a hinged leaf on a table that can be raised and supported by a bracket
    type of:
    section, segment
    one of several parts or pieces that fit with others to constitute a whole object
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