Share this entry
cinquefoil Syllabification: cinque·foil
Pronunciation: /ˈsiNGkˌfoil/

Definition of cinquefoil in English:


Image of cinquefoil
1A widely distributed herbaceous plant of the rose family, with compound leaves of five leaflets and five-petaled yellow flowers.
  • Genus Potentilla, family Rosaceae: numerous species, including the small-flowered creeping common cinquefoil (P. simplex) and the larger-flowered erect rough-fruited cinquefoil (P. recta)
Example sentences
  • One of these plants, Robbins' cinquefoil or dwarf cinquefoil, has been proposed for removal from the federal endangered species list.
  • If you have a toothache or mouth sore, you might try cinquefoil, a native plant.
  • Deciduous cinquefoil has long been used for borders and ground covers in cold-climate gardens.
2 Art An ornamental design of five lobes arranged in a circle, e.g., in architectural tracery or heraldry.
Example sentences
  • The cinquefoil, when inscribed in a circle, forms a rosette of five equal leaves having an open space in the middle, the leaves being formed by the open spaces.


Middle English: from Latin quinquefolium, from quinque 'five' + folium 'leaf'.

Definition of cinquefoil in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources