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From Latin topiarius (of or relating to ornamental gardening; an ornamental garden, an ornamental gardener), from Latin topia (ornamental gardening, landscape painting), from Ancient Greek τόπια (tópia, artistic representation in which natural or artificial features of a place are used as the medium), plural of Ancient Greek τόπιον (tópion, field, landscape), from τόπος (tópos, place). The adjective use dates to 1592, the noun use dates to 1908.


topiary (not comparable)

  1. Of, or relating to art of topiaries.
    • 1910, American homes and gardens: Volume 7
      As the topiary art has been allowed to practically die out, it is difficult to secure the services of skilled clippers.
  2. Of a tree or shrub, trimmed in artistic shape.



topiary (countable and uncountable, plural topiaries)

  1. (uncountable) Art or practice of trimming shrubs or trees in artistic or ornamental shapes, e.g. of animals.
    • 1994, Robert Jordan, Lord of Chaos, prologue
      The palace garden might have had a semblance of coolness had there been any trees, but the tallest things were fanciful topiary, tortured into the shapes of running horses or bears performing tumblers’ tricks or the like.
  2. (countable) A garden decorated with such art.
  3. (countable) One such shrub or tree.
    We have topiaries for sale.


See alsoEdit