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1. any of the subdivisions of a compound leaf such as a fern leaf
2. (loosely) any small leaf or leaflike part



a printed sheet with a political-agitational or informative text or picture. The distinguishing features of leaflets are their up-to-date content, the comparatively large number of copies printed, the promptness of publication and distribution, and brief use. Leaflets may present either original texts of appeals and announcements or reprints (official documents or works of art, for example).

The first leaflets were printed soon after the invention of the printing press. Originally they were used to publicize government decrees. Revolutionary leaflets were used throughout Germany during the Peasant War of 1524–26. In the 18th to 20th centuries leaflets became an accepted form of mass revolutionary propaganda. They were also widely used in preelection struggles among bourgeois parties. During wars (especially World War I and World War II) leaflets were issued by governments and by military commands.

During the 18th and 19th centuries the Russian government issued manifestos, decrees, and addresses to the population by means of flyers, a form of leaflet. For example, flyers were distributed during the Patriotic War of 1812. The forerunners of revolutionary leaflets were handwritten “anonymous letters” and “inciting (prelestnye) charters” summoning the people to rebellion and distributed by the leaders of the peasant wars of the 17th and 18th centuries (I. Bolotnikov, S. Razin, K. Bulavin, and E. Pugachev). Revolutionary leaflets called proclamations were printed in London by the Free Russian Printing House for distribution in Russia. During the phase of the Russian liberation movement that was dominated by the raznochintsy (intellectuals of no definite class), proclamation-leaflets were issued by Zemlia i Volia (Land and Freedom) in the 1860’s and 1870’s, by the People’s Will, by the first workers’ circles, and by other revolutionary organizations inside the country and abroad. The St. Petersburg Union of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class, which was headed by V. I. Lenin in 1895, made extensive use of leaflets. Revolutionary leaflets were issued on a mass scale during the Revolution of 1905–07 and during the preparation for and implementation of the October Socialist Revolution of 1917, as well as during the Civil War of 1918–20.

The publication and distribution of leaflets are forms of agitational work done by party, soviet, and Komsomol organizations in the USSR. There are two main types of leaflets: placardleaflets and “militant sheets.” During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 leaflets played a major role in the party’s ideological struggle against sinister fascist German propaganda by helping to mobilize and unite popular forces to rout the enemy. Leaflets are used to publish appeals and urgent communiqués. They are a means of disseminating the experience of advanced workers. In addition, leaflets are used for commercial and other forms of advertising.


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Istochnikovedenie istorii SSSR XIX–nach. XX vv. Moscow, 1970. Pages 328–45.


A division of a compound leaf.
A small or young foliage leaf.
References in periodicals archive ?
Each leaflet can be easily printed on one or two sides of A4 and can be directly linked to from practice websites and emails.
Labour councillor Bob Derbyshire, who serves Rumney, said the complaints follow previous issues with leaflets in the area.
Before operation, 2D-ITEE was used to detect the morphology, size, and motion of three tricuspid leaflets and both ventricles' function.
Finbar Cronin's leaflet cannot have come from the local party as we have no involvement with General Election printing outside our own constituency.
But Plaid activists were angered when, after the apology, leaflets arrived at voters' homes which repeated the false statement.
An email sent by cabinet member Cllr Steve Munby to dozens of fellow Labour councillors and Mayor Joe Anderson suggests he and others are furious with the leaflet being put out on behalf of the Walton MP - with just weeks to go to the crucial vote.
An overview is a brief but clear opening that clearly states the objective of the leaflet.
The leaflet sets out the facts, explains why the government believes a vote to remain in the EU is in the best interests of the UK, and shows some of the choices the country would face if it were to leave.
The leaflets attached to the cars said: "Still buying rubbish?
Powell added: "With leaflets, as soon as they are posted the occupants of the house can see your company and what you are offering.
Hundreds of the leaflets have already been distributed - over fears the workers could suffer injuries from handling bins which are left facing the wrong way.
The move came as the North issued a fresh threat to bomb any site where leaflets are launched as it accused Seoul of stirring the crisis which has engulfed the Korean peninsula ever since Pyongyang conducted a rocket test last December and a nuclear test in February.