In desktop publishing, the front and back sides of a piece of paper that make up two pages in a book, newsletter, or magazine are a leaf. For use in a book, one sheet of paper, folded in half is one folio, two leaves, and four pages. One half of each sheet of folded paper is a leaf. Each side or face of each leaf is a page.
In a numbered publication, such as a book, the front side of the leaf with odd page numbers (1, 3, 5, etc.) is known as recto. The even-numbered pages on the back side of the leaf (2, 4, 6, etc.) are verso.
As a verb, to leaf through a book or a catalog is to flip through the pages quickly or slowly but without actually reading carefully or at all.
Other Kinds of Related Leaf or Leaf-like Terms
Leaf is an extremely thin sheet of hammered metal or foil, such as gold leaf used in gilding book page edges.
Loose leaf (or looseleaf) refers to paper, especially lined notebook paper, that is not bound into a book It can also refer to loose leaf papers in a ring or post binder that can be removed without tearing the paper. Although bound, loose leaf is sometimes used to mean notebook paper in a spiral or glued notebook, especially if it comes with perforations for easy removal. Loose leaf paper, even when bound in a spiral or other notebook, usually has holes pre-punched making it easy to put the papers into or remove them from binders.
Leaflet is another name for an unbound flier or single fold handbill.
Fly leaf is a type of unprinted page at the front and back of the book that's not glued to the cover. Also see Fly Leaf.
End leaf, another name of end sheet, is found in case bound books. It attaches the inside pages to the cover.
The idiom turn over a new leaf refers to leaf as in a book — to turn the page, start with a fresh new page, improve behavior.
To take a leaf out of [some person's] book means to imitate someone's behavior or actions.
Get a Leaf and Leaf Articles
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- Leaf Prints: How to Make Prints Out of Leaves
- Running Loose Leaf Notebook Paper Through a Printer
Leaves grow on trees. Trees are cut down to make paper. Paper is folded to form leaves and pages in a book. A good book leaves the reader with a sense of satisfaction.