Definition of shamrock in English:


Syllabification: sham·rock
Pronunciation: /ˈSHamˌräk


  • 1A low-growing, cloverlike plant with three-lobed leaves, used as the national emblem of Ireland.
    • The shamrock of legend has been identified with a number of different plants in the family Leguminosae, in particular the lesser yellow trefoil (Trifolium minus)
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    • Green also became associated with this feast day (St. Patrick's Day) because it is the colour of spring, Ireland and the shamrock.
    • According to legend the shamrock, with its three leaves on the single stalk, was used by St. Patrick to explain the mystery of the Christian Trinity to the pagan Irish.
    • Shannon Airport would be promoted using the shamrock, ‘the most significant symbol of Ireland in the minds of people throughout the world.’
  • 1.1A spray or leaf of shamrock.
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    • It also explains why the shamrock is the national symbol of Ireland.
    • Decorated with intricate knot work, a harp and a shamrock, the emblems of the brigade, and with a bronze Irish wolfhound at the foot of the cross, it is reckoned by many to be the most beautiful memorial on the battlefield.
    • The national emblem is a carved Irish shamrock adorning Government House, and the island's flag and crest show a woman with a cross and harp.


late 16th century: from Irish seamróg 'trefoil' (diminutive of seamar 'clover').

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