defoliateverb [ T ]uk /ˌdiːˈfəʊ.li.eɪt/ us /ˌdiːˈfoʊ.li.eɪt/
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noun [ U ] uk /ˌdiː.fəʊ.liˈeɪ.ʃən/ us /ˌdiː.foʊ.liˈeɪ.ʃən/
(Definition of “defoliate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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said to emphasize that being part of a group makes you less likely to be harmed