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Definition of "cinquefoil" [cinque•foil]

  • Any of several plants of the genus Potentilla in the rose family, native chiefly to temperate and cold regions and having yellow or sometimes white or red flowers and compound leaves that in some species bear five leaflets. (noun)
  • Architecture A design having five sides composed of converging arcs, usually used as a frame for glass or a panel. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "cinquefoil" in a sentence
  • "Valley bottoms with stable, well-drained soils support deciduous shrubs, such as cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa), the legume (Caragana jubata), and willows (Salix spp)."
  • "Cornelius Agrippa wrote on the power of numbers, which he declares is asserted by nature herself; thus the herb called cinquefoil, or five-leafed grass, resists poison, and bans devils by virtue of the number five; one leaf of it taken in wine twice a day cures the quotidian, three the tertian, four the quartan fever. ["
  • "This part of Teesdale is famous for botanical rarities like the shrubby cinquefoil bushes, covered with egg-yolk-yellow blooms, that cling to rocky islands in the river, but the profusion of flowers maintained by skilled management of livestock in meadows and pastures has the greatest impact on most visitors."