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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Cinquefoil \Cinque"foil`\, n. [Cinque five + foil, F. feuille leaf. See Foil.]

  1. (Bot.) The name of several different species of the genus Potentilla; -- also called five-finger, because of the resemblance of its leaves to the fingers of the hand.

  2. (Arch.) An ornamental foliation having five points or cups, used in windows, panels, etc.

    Marsh cinquefoil, the Potentilla palustris, a plant with purple flowers which grows in fresh-water marshes.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

from Latin quinquefolium, from quinque (see five) + folium (see folio).


n. 1 potentilla (gloss: flower) 2 (context heraldiccharge English) A stylized flower or leaf with five lobes. 3 (context topology English) A particular knot of five crossings.

  1. n. any of a numerous plants grown for their 5-petal flowers; abundant in temperate regions; alleged to have medicinal properties [syn: five-finger]

  2. an ornamental carving consisting of five arcs arranged in a circle

Cinquefoil (disambiguation)

Cinquefoil means "five-leaved", from the French cinq feuilles ("five leaves") and ultimately the Latin quinquefolium. It can refer to:

  • Potentilla (typical cinquefoils), a plant genus in the rose family ( Rosaceae)
  • Several other Rosaceae genera formerly included in Potentilla:
    • Comarum
    • Dasiphora (woody cinquefoils)
    • Drymocallis (Tall Cinquefoil)
    • Sibbaldiopsis (Three-toothed Cinquefoil)
  • A pattern in heraldry resembling a cinquefoil flower; see Charge (heraldry)#Plants
  • The cinquefoil knot, a knot whose outline resembles a cinquefoil flower.
  • In architecture, a five-lobed shape found in window tracery.

Usage examples of "cinquefoil".

This is now ranged among the cinquefoils, though it has only four petals, owing perhaps to the very dry barren heathy soil it brightens with its stars.

Ari had discovered by working his way down a list of possibles that had included the Cinquefoil Lounge, the Pentangle Salad Shop, and the elegant and expensive Restaurant at 555.

Here and there cinquefoil speckled with yellow flowers crept through and around bleached bones lying scattered through the grass.

Indian paintbrush, bright yellow cinquefoil, blue lupine and pink fireweed.

Lying beside a bank of silvery cinquefoil against a clear evening sky, where the planet Venus is a point of new and warmer light, one has the vision of her.

I pointed out the late asters and wild chrysanthemums in their last days before the killing winter winds finished them for another season, and had the children hunt for the red leaves of cinquefoil and strawberry and geranium.

His smile melted the old woman's anger, and she allowed him to gather up marjoram, cinquefoil, and dried nettle.

Complete with receding labial ridges and a nice little cinquefoil clitoris above the doorway.

Before the Disasters, in what the Halidomians were apt to refer to, wistfully, as "the good old days," Halidom and Troth had been much alike, with their fields of azure, their mulberry orchards, their castles set in gardens of fleer-de-lys, roses, trefoils, citrophilous and cinquefoils, their stately forests of pageant trees and family trees, and their abundance of animals.

Lamb's-quarters and cinquefoil were already blooming, and I could see the buds of sweet broom swelling.

The two oak front doors stood under handsome limestone tympanums that together cradled a stained-glass rose window, all surrounded by a cinquefoil arch.

The doors were recessed in a twenty-foot-high cinquefoil arch, above which was an enormous and elaborately patterned wheel window that still contained twenty percent of its original glass, most likely because it was a harder target for stones.