- See under cinquefoil(def 1).
- any of several plants belonging to the genus Potentilla, of the rose family, having yellow, red, or white five-petaled flowers, as P. reptans (creeping cinquefoil), of the Old World, or P. argentea (silvery cinquefoil), of North America.
- Also called quinquefoil, quintefoil. Architecture. a panellike ornament consisting of five lobes, divided by cusps, radiating from a common center.
- Heraldry. a charge in the form of a five-leaved clover.
Origin of cinquefoil
1375–1425; late Middle English sink foil < Middle French cincfoille < Latin quīnque folia five leaves, translation of Greek pentáphyllon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any plant of the N temperate rosaceous genus Potentilla, typically having five-lobed compound leaves
- an ornamental carving in the form of five arcs arranged in a circle and separated by cusps
- heraldry a charge representing a five-petalled flower
C13 sink foil, from Old French cincfoille, from Latin quinquefolium plant with five leaves, translating Greek pentaphullon from pente five + phullon leaf
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for creeping cinquefoil
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper