leaf

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four-leaf clover

1. Literally, a clover with four leaves instead of the usual three, traditionally thought to be a good-luck charm due to its rarity. You found a four-leaf clover and you saw a shooting star? Wow, you must be really lucky today!
2. By extension, any person or thing that is considered a bringer of good fortune. The new kicker has been something of a four-leaf clover for the team, as they've won every game since he signed with them.
See also: clover

quake like a leaf

To tremble violently with fear or nervousness. My brother is so strong and scary-looking that he leaves people quaking like a leaf when he threatens them. I was quaking like a leaf when I went up to deliver my speech.
See also: leaf, like, quake

take a leaf from (someone's) book

To do something in the way someone else would do it; to behave or act like someone else. I think I'm going to take a leaf from your book and start going for a run first thing in the morning. Our youngest son was always very placid as a baby, but now that he's getting older, he's begun taking a leaf from our older boy's book.
See also: book, leaf, take

fig leaf

Something used to hide an embarrassing or shameful problem. In the Bible, Adam and Eve used fig leaves to conceal their genitals after they became ashamed of their nakedness. Gary used humor as a fig leaf to conceal the fact that he was struggling with depression.
See also: fig, leaf

in leaf

Covered in leaves. In the summer, I love seeing all the beautiful trees in leaf.
See also: leaf

leaf out

[for a plant] to open its leaf buds. Most of the bushes leaf out in mid-April. The trees leafed out early this year.
See also: leaf, out

take a leaf out of someone's book

 and take a page from someone's book
Fig. to behave or to do something in a way that someone else would. When you act like that, you're taking a leaf out of your sister's book, and I don't like it! You had better do it your way. Don't take a leaf out of my book. I don't do it well.
See also: book, leaf, of, out, take

thumb through something

 and leaf through something
to look through a book, magazine, or newspaper, without reading it carefully. I've only thumbed through this book, but it looks very interesting. I leafed through a magazine while waiting to see the doctor.
See also: thumb

turn over a new leaf

Fig. to begin again, fresh; to reform and begin again. (Fig. on turning to a fresh page. The leaf is a page—a fresh, clean page.) I have made a mess of my life. I'll turn over a new leaf and hope to do better. Why don't you turn over a new leaf and surprise everyone with your good characteristics?
See also: leaf, new, turn

leaf through something

to turn pages, briefly looking at them We leafed through some old photo albums. The detective leafed through some papers on the desk, looking for clues to my father's disappearance.
See also: leaf

take a leaf out of somebody's book

to copy something that someone else has done I should take a leaf out of Robert's book and start coming in at ten every morning – maybe then the boss will notice me!
See also: book, leaf, of, out, take

turn over a new leaf

to start behaving in a different way Apparently he's turned over a new leaf and he's not drinking any more.
Usage notes: usually suggesting an improvement in behavior
Related vocabulary: turn the page
See also: leaf, new, turn

thumb through something

to quickly look at a pile of papers or the pages of a magazine or book Quinn thumbed through his messages until he found the slip with Ritter's phone number on it. Bella had to wait for Jill so she passed the time thumbing through magazines.
See also: thumb

a fig leaf

something that you use to try to hide an embarrassing fact or problem
Usage notes: In the Bible, Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover their sexual organs when they discovered they were naked.
Are the peace talks simply providing a fig leaf for the continuing aggression between the two countries?
See also: fig, leaf

take a leaf out of somebody's book

to copy something that someone else does because it will bring you advantages Maybe I should take a leaf out of Robert's book and start coming in at ten every morning.
See shake like a leaf
See also: book, leaf, of, out, take

shake like a leaf

to shake a lot because you are nervous or frightened (usually in continuous tenses) I saw her just before her talk and she was shaking like a leaf.
See rock to its foundations
See also: leaf, like, shake

turn over a new leaf

to start behaving in a better way Apparently he's turned over a new leaf and he's not drinking any more.
See also: leaf, new, turn

leaf through

Turn pages, as in browsing or searching for something. For example, There she sat, leafing through the various catalogs. This expression employs leaf in the sense of "turn over the leaves of a book," a usage dating from the mid-1600s.
See also: leaf

quake in one's boots

Also, shake in one's boots; quake or shake like a leaf . Tremble with fear, as in The very thought of a hurricane blowing in makes me quake in my boots. Both quake and shake here mean "tremble." These idioms were preceded by the alliterative phrase shake in one's shoes in the late 1800s. The idioms with leaf allude to trembling leaves, as in He was shaking like a leaf when the exams were handed back. A similar expression was used by Chaucer, who put it as quake like an aspen leaf, a particularly apt comparison since aspen leaves have flattened stems that cause the leaves to quiver in the gentlest breeze.
See also: boot, quake

take a leaf out of someone's book

Imitate or follow someone's example, as in Harriet took a leaf out of her mother's book and began to keep track of how much money she was spending on food . This idiom alludes to tearing a page from a book. [c. 1800]
See also: book, leaf, of, out, take

turn over a new leaf

Make a fresh start, change one's conduct or attitude for the better, as in He promised the teacher he would turn over a new leaf and behave himself in class. This expression alludes to turning the page of a book to a new page. [Early 1500s]
See also: leaf, new, turn

leaf through

v.
To go through some reading material quickly or superficially, turning from page to page, as in searching or browsing: On Sunday mornings, I leaf through the newspaper while eating breakfast.
See also: leaf

thumb through

v.
To go through some reading material quickly or superficially, turning from page to page with or as if with the thumb: I thumbed through the directory for my dentist's phone number.
See also: thumb

leaf

n. cocaine. (Sometimes with the. Cocaine is extracted from the leaves of the coca plant.) The entire shipment of leaf was seized by the feds.

take a leaf from (someone)

To use (someone) as an example.
See also: leaf, take

take a leaf from

/out of (someone's) book
To use (someone) as an example.
See also: leaf, take