leaf

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Related to leafed: leafed through

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

shake like an aspen leaf

To tremble. Aspen leaves have long, flat stalks that are easily blown by the wind. I may seem confident when I'm leading a training seminar, but I'm really shaking like an aspen leaf most of the time. It's so cold in here that the poor girl is shaking like an aspen leaf.
See also: leaf, like, shake

shake like a leaf

To tremble violently with fear or nervousness. My brother is so strong and scary looking that he leaves people shaking like a leaf when he threatens them. I was shaking like a leaf when I went up to deliver my speech in front of all those people.
See also: leaf, like, shake

take a leaf out of (one'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 out of your book and start going for a run first thing in the morning.
See also: book, leaf, of, out, take

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: through, 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

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, through

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

a fig leaf

Something which is intended to hide an embarrassing or awkward situation can be called a fig leaf. The Code of Practice must be enforced, or else it is just a meaningless fig leaf. He said that retaining Stewart in a creative role was a `generous fig leaf that the company gave her'. Note: According to the Bible, when Adam and Eve ate the apple in the Garden of Eden, they realized that they were naked and felt ashamed, so they covered their genitals with fig leaves. (Genesis 3:7)
See also: fig, leaf

be shaking like a leaf

COMMON If someone is shaking like a leaf, their body is shaking a lot, usually because they are very frightened. Note: The `leaf' in the last two expressions is a page of a book. I didn't think about the danger at the time. Afterwards I was shaking like a leaf.
See also: leaf, like, shake

take a leaf out of someone's book

or

take a leaf from someone's book

COMMON If you take a leaf out of someone's book or take a leaf from their book, you copy them, usually because they were successful when they acted in that way. Note: The `leaf' in the last two expressions is a page of a book. Hollywood celebs should take a leaf out of Michael Douglas's book and make sure their websites are interesting and attractive. You're working too hard. Take a leaf from my book and relax!
See also: book, leaf, of, out, take

turn over a new leaf

COMMON If someone has turned over a new leaf, they have started to behave in a better way than before. Note: The `leaf' in the last two expressions is a page of a book. While Eddie has turned over a new leaf, his brother can still be spotted in the bars along Sunset Strip. Both men have agreed to turn over a new leaf in their relations with each other. Compare with turn the page.
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, through

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: through, 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