Etymology
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exfoliate (v.)

1610s, transitive, "to cast off, shed" (a surface); 1670s, intransitive, "to separate or come off in thin, leaf-like layers;" from Late Latin exfoliatus, past participle of exfoliare "to strip of leaves," from ex "off, out of" (see ex-) + folium "leaf" (from PIE root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom"). Related: Exfoliated; exfoliating.

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Definitions of exfoliate

exfoliate (v.)
spread by opening the leaves of;
exfoliate (v.)
cast off in scales, laminae, or splinters;
exfoliate (v.)
remove the surface, in scales or laminae;
exfoliate (v.)
come off in a very thin piece;
exfoliate (v.)
grow by producing or unfolding leaves;
plants exfoliate
From wordnet.princeton.edu