Meaning of “defoliate” in the English Dictionary

"defoliate" in English

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defoliateverb [ T ]

uk /ˌdiːˈfəʊ.li.eɪt/ us /ˌdiːˈfoʊ.li.eɪt/
noun [ U ] uk /ˌdiː.fəʊ.liˈeɪ.ʃən/ us /ˌdiː.foʊ.liˈeɪ.ʃən/

Examples from literature

  • Many small trees have been entirely stripped and large ones almost defoliated. 
  • My trees that I go to inspect every two or three weeks, at one inspection would be leafing out, at the next would be defoliated. 
  • Several years ago the beet fields in the vicinity of Grand Island were threatened great injury by a certain caterpillar that had nearly defoliated all the beets growing in many of them. 
  • The locust miner is a beetle which is now annually defoliating trees of this species in large numbers. 

(Definition of “defoliate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)