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.
2. Also called quinquefoil, quintefoil. Architecture. a panellike ornament consisting of five lobes, divided by cusps, radiating from a common center.
3. Heraldry. a charge in the form of a five-leaved clover.
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Origin: 1375–1425; late Middle English sink foil < Middle French cincfoille < Latin quīnque folia five leaves, translation of Greek pentáphyllon
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