The Collaborative International Dictionary
Fig \Fig\ (f[i^]g), n. [F. figue the fruit of the tree, Pr. figa, fr. L. ficus fig tree, fig. Cf. Fico.]
(Bot.) A small fruit tree ( Ficus Carica) with large leaves, known from the remotest antiquity. It was probably native from Syria westward to the Canary Islands.
The fruit of a fig tree, which is of round or oblong shape, and of various colors.
Note: The fruit of a fig tree is really the hollow end of a stem, and bears numerous achenia inside the cavity. Many species have little, hard, inedible figs, and in only a few does the fruit become soft and pulpy. The fruit of the cultivated varieties is much prized in its fresh state, and also when dried or preserved. See Caprification.
A small piece of tobacco. [U.S.]
The value of a fig, practically nothing; a fico; -- used in scorn or contempt. ``A fig for Peter.''
Cochineal fig. See Conchineal fig.
Fig dust, a preparation of fine oatmeal for feeding caged birds.
Fig faun, one of a class of rural deities or monsters supposed to live on figs. ``Therefore shall dragons dwell there with the fig fauns.''
--Jer. i. 39. (Douay version).
Fig gnat (Zo["o]l.), a small fly said to be injurious to figs.
Fig leaf, the leaf tree; hence, in allusion to the first clothing of Adam and Eve (Genesis iii.7), a covering for a thing that ought to be concealed; esp., an inadequate covering; a symbol for affected modesty.
Fig marigold (Bot.), the name of several plants of the genus Mesembryanthemum, some of which are prized for the brilliancy and beauty of their flowers.
Fig tree (Bot.), any tree of the genus Ficus, but especially F. Carica which produces the fig of commerce.
Cochineal fig \Coch"i*neal fig\, (Bot.) A plant of Central and Southern America, of the Cactus family, extensively cultivated for the sake of the cochineal insect, which lives on it.
n. A plant of Central and South America, of the cactus family, cultivated for the sake of the cochineal insect, which lives on it.