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From Latin topiarius (of or relating to ornamental gardening; an ornamental garden, an ornamental gardener), from Ancient Greek τόπια (tópia, artistic representation in which natural or artificial features of a place are used as the medium), 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.



topiary (countable and uncountable, plural topiaries)

Topiary Rufford Hall.JPG
  1. (countable) A garden decorated with shrubs which have been trimmed in artistic shapes, often of animals.
  2. (countable) One such shrub or tree.
    • 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.
  3. (uncountable) Topiary gardening.


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