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Topiary definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

TOP'IARY, a. [L. topiarius, ornamented.] Shaped by clipping or cutting.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a garden having shrubs clipped or trimmed into decorative shapes especially of animals
2: making decorative shapes by trimming shrubs or trees

Merriam Webster's

I. adjective Etymology: Latin topiarius, from topia ornamental gardening, irregular from Greek topos place Date: 1592 of, relating to, or being the practice or art of training, cutting, and trimming trees or shrubs into odd or ornamental shapes; also characterized by such work II. noun (plural -aries) Date: 1904 1. topiary art or gardening; also a topiary garden 2. a. a plant shaped by topiary art b. topiary plants

Britannica Concise

Art of training living trees and shrubs into artificial, decorative shapes. Topiary is known to have been practiced in the 1st cent. AD. The earliest topiary was probably the simple development of edgings, cones, columns, and spires to accent a garden scene. This architectural use gave way to elaborate shapes such as ships, hunters, and hounds. The fashion reached its height in Britain in the late 17th and early 18th cent. but was displaced by the so-called natural garden.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

adj. & n. --adj. concerned with or formed by clipping shrubs, trees, etc. into ornamental shapes. --n. (pl. -ies) 1 topiary art. 2 an example of this. Derivatives: topiarian adj. topiarist n. Etymology: F topiaire f. L topiarius landscape-gardener f. topia opera fancy gardening f. Gk topia pl. dimin. of topos place

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Topiary Top"i*a*ry, a. [L. topiarius belonging to ornamental gardening, fr. topia (sc. opera) ornamental gardening, fr. Gr. ? a place.] Of or pertaining to ornamental gardening; produced by cutting, trimming, etc.; topiarian. Topiary work, arbors, shrubbery, hedges, or the like, cut and trimmed into fanciful forms, as of animals, buildings, etc.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

Topiary is the art of cutting trees and bushes into different shapes, for example into the shapes of birds or animals.

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. Ornamental (as the trimming of hedges, trees, paths, etc, in a garden).

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