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.

Primary Meanings of leaf

the main organ of photosynthesis and transpiration in higher plants
produce leaves, of plants
a sheet of any written or printed material (especially in a manuscript or book)
turn over pages
hinged or detachable flat section (as of a table or door)
Full Definitions of leaf

n the main organ of photosynthesis and transpiration in higher plants

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

v produce leaves, of plants

Type of:
acquire, develop, get, grow, produce
come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes)

n a sheet of any written or printed material (especially in a manuscript or book)

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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

v turn over pages

leaf through a book”
leaf a manuscript”
Type of:
turn, turn over
cause to move around a center so as to show another side of

v look through a book or other written material

“She leafed through the volume”
flick, flip, riff, riffle, thumb
Type of:
examine or consider with attention and in detail

n hinged or detachable flat section (as of a table or door)

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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