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fig, name for members of the genus Ficus of the family Moraceae (mulberry family). This large genus contains some 800 species of widely varied tropical vines (some of which are epiphytic); shrubs; and trees, including the banyan, the peepul, or bo tree, and the India-rubber tree. It differs from other genera of the family in that the hundreds of tiny female flowers are borne on the inside of a syconium, a fleshy fruitlike receptacle with a small opening at the apex. The common fig (F. carica), a native of the Mediterranean area, has been bred and cultivated from early times for its commercially valuable fruit and has been naturalized in other parts of the world that have a mild, semiarid climate; in the United States, figs are grown in California, Texas, Utah, Oregon, and Washington. Some edible varieties (e.g., the Smyrna, among the best) can be pollinated only by the fig wasp (Blastophaga), which passes its larval stage inside the inedible fruit of a wild variety called the caprifig. In order to produce mature fruit, the cultivated variety is subjected to a process called caprification; flowering branches of caprifig are hung in the tree so that the emerging wasps will transfer caprifig pollen to the edible fig. After entering the receptacle and laying its eggs, the wasp dies and its body and eggs are absorbed by the developing fruit; only the eggs laid inside the caprifig fruit survive. Other edible varieties (e.g., the Adriatic or mission fig) bear larger fruits when caprificated. The ripe fruit (called a synconium) contains masses of tiny seeds and is soft and pear-shaped; it may be greenish, yellow to orange, or purple in color. The name fig is also applied to various unrelated plants that either resemble the fig tree or bear figlike fruits. Figs are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Urticales, family Moraceae.

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fig

fig in a number of phrases, such as not give a fig for, taken as the type of something of little value.

In Mark ch. 11, Jesus sees a fig-tree with leaves but no fruit and says to it, ‘No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever’; the tree subsequently withers. It is in fact usual for the leaves of this tree to appear before the fruit; but the ‘barren fig tree’ is being used as an image of Israel's failure to respond spiritually to God.
fig leaf often used for concealing the genitals in paintings and sculpture, with particular reference to the story of Adam and Eve, when having eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and become ashamed of their nakedness, ‘they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons’ (Genesis 3:7).

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fig

fig / fig/ • n. 1. a soft pear-shaped fruit with sweet dark flesh and many small seeds, eaten fresh or dried. 2. (also fig tree) the deciduous Old World tree or shrub (Ficus carica) of the mulberry family that bears this fruit. fig2 inf. • n. (in phrase full fig) smart clothes, esp. those appropriate to a particular occasion or profession: a soldier walking up the street in full fig. • v. (figged , fig·ging ) [tr.] archaic dress up (someone) to look smart: he was figged out in the latest modes.

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fig

fig The fruit of Ficus carica; eaten fresh or dried. Figs have mild laxative properties (syrup of figs is a medicinal preparation). A 40‐g portion of dried figs (two figs) is a source of calcium, iron, and copper; provides 3 g of dietary fibre; supplies 80 kcal (335 kJ) and contains 50% sugars. A 100‐g portion of fresh figs (two figs) supplies 60 kcal (245 kJ).

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fig

fig Tree, shrub, or climber of the mulberry family, growing in warm regions, especially from the e Mediterranean to India and Malaysia. The common fig (Ficus carica) has tiny flowers without petals that grow inside fleshy flask-like receptacles; these become the thick outer covering holding the seeds, the true, edible fruit of the fig tree. Height: to 11.8m (39ft). Family Moraceae, genus Ficus.

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fig

fig (fruit of) the fig-tree. XIII. — (O)F. figue — Pr. figa :- Rom. *fica, for L. fīcus.

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fig

figbig, brig, dig, fig, frig, gig, grig, jig, lig, pig, prig, rig, snig, sprig, swig, tig, trig, twig, Whig, wig •Liebig • shindig • whirligig •thingamajig • Pfennig • Gehrig •thimblerig • Meurig • oilrig • Leipzig •Schleswig • bigwig • periwig • Ludwig •earwig • Danzig • Zagazig

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