Definition of foliate in US English:



  • Decorated with leaves or leaflike motifs.

    ‘foliate scrolls’
    • ‘The fluted stiles are embellished with carved foliate scrolls.’
    • ‘Again, the foliate, grooved teeth do not meet diplodocomorph specs.’
    • ‘Somasteroids typically are foliate with ventral series of so-called virgals extending from ambulacrals to marginals.’
    • ‘At Osterley what are central fruiting grapevines in the carpet are foliate swags in the drawing.’
    • ‘Set against white plaster walls, the bases and ornate foliate capitals of the columns were gilded, and their shafts were painted a ‘straw’ color.’
    • ‘Calculated tangles of foliate and linear patterns hug the edges of several of the paintings, thinning out toward the center.’
    • ‘The lower tier of the fountain had intertwined dolphin supports and was raised on a finely cast foliate stem.’
    • ‘Each portrait is encircled with a foliate wreath and surrounded by classical rinceaux against a Byzantine style gold background.’
    • ‘Many interpretations of the meaning and origin of the Green Man have been offered since Lady Raglan first applied the term to the human foliate head.’
    • ‘Apart from foliate designs, Renaissance patterns diffused relatively slowly through northern Europe and Spain.’
    • ‘A foliate tricephalic form can be seen at Llandaff Cathedral.’
    • ‘Most of Romsey's foliate heads are closer to animal than to human form: this one is very cat-like, and is the source of copious vegetation.’


[with object]
  • 1Decorate with leaves or leaflike motifs.

    ‘the dome is to be foliated’
    • ‘The courtyard was foliated with multiple kinds of bushes and trees.’
    • ‘The Santan Mountains study site is also primarily composed of granodiorite, but the boulders are not as extensive or foliated as in the South Mountains.’
    put out leaves, bud, burst into leaves
    View synonyms
  • 2Number the leaves of (a book) rather than the pages.

    • ‘The newly discovered manuscript had in fact been foliated and the figures are omitted from the plates.’
    • ‘The book was foliated in pencil below the text in the lower right-hand corner.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin foliatus ‘leaved’, from folium ‘leaf’.