Meaning of fig leaf in English:

fig leaf


Translate fig leaf into Spanish


  • 1A leaf of a fig tree, often used for concealing the genitals in paintings and sculpture.

    ‘The young woman, whose speech and behavior reek of defiance bordering on dementia, disapproves of the puritanism that placed a plaster fig leaf over the genitals of a statue of God.’
    • ‘More sympathetic observers like Peter Kolb suggested that as a natural fig leaf it modestly concealed the female genitals.’
    • ‘This was not the mythical Pan, half-man and half-goat, but a mature human male whose nudity was compromised only by the prominent fig leaf covering his genitals.’
    • ‘I can see the appeal of the fig leaf for Adam and Eve, when choosing a leaf as an outfit.’
    • ‘The play on mold and casting was built into the Female Fig Leaf itself, for it could be viewed either as a mold to make castings that reveal a female's private parts or as a casting to be used as a fig leaf to conceal a female's private parts.’
    • ‘The environmentalist stripped down to a fig leaf to promote his television show.’
    • ‘Wearing just a fig leaf and a pair of tights to hide his modesty, Brian put on his special one-man show to help make up for the disappointment club members had when their outing to Abbey House Gardens, near Malmesbury, was hit by rain.’
    1. 1.1A thing intended to conceal a difficulty or embarrassment.
      ‘the amendment was just a fig leaf intended to cover the cracks in the party’
      • ‘They are a political fig leaf to cover the government's embarrassment over that.’
      • ‘This is merely a fig leaf to cover up its ruthless attempts to preserve the ability to extract huge profits from those artists.’
      • ‘Authoritarianism, barely concealed under the fig leaf of ‘democracy’, became its watchword.’
      • ‘It's a fig leaf - so tiny that it simply attracts attention to the problem rather than doing anything to solve it.’
      • ‘But that was a mere fig leaf of plausible denial.’


Early 16th century with reference to the story of Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:7).