clo·​ver·​leaf | \ ˈklō-vər-ˌlēf How to pronounce cloverleaf (audio) \

Definition of cloverleaf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: resembling a clover leaf in shape


plural cloverleafs\ ˈklō-​vər-​ˌlēfs How to pronounce cloverleafs (audio) \ or cloverleaves\ ˈklō-​vər-​ˌlēvz How to pronounce cloverleaves (audio) \

Definition of cloverleaf (Entry 2 of 2)

: an interchange between two major highways that allows traffic to change from one to the other without requiring any left turns or crossings and that from above resembles a 4-leaf clover

Illustration of cloverleaf

Illustration of cloverleaf


In the meaning defined above

Examples of cloverleaf in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Diverging diamond interchanges are designed to be safer and take up less space than cloverleaf designs. Mary Wisniewski,, "Southerners, women most likely to favor bumper stickers, survey says," 11 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The closure of Exit 5B to westbound Abernathy, a partial cloverleaf, is to accommodate construction of a diverging diamond interchange of Abernathy and new collector-distributor bridges over the road, GDOT said. David Ibata, ajc, "GDOT to close Ga. 400 ramp to Abernathy," 23 June 2020 Those images, thornier in intent and unwedded to a single place, become a kind of cloverleaf—of circumstances, of timelines and beliefs, of people. Jason Parham, Wired, "Depth of Field: George Floyd and the Illusion of Progress," 29 May 2020 The project will replace the existing cloverleaf turnpike with a modern direct connect interchange. Dallas News, "State Highway 360 begins overnight lane closures near Arlington," 15 May 2020 But there are also high-quality touches, such as the white-and-green stitching—which brings the theme of the Quadrifoglio's cloverleaf badge inside the cabin—on the dash, doors, seats, and into the second row. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Begs to Be Driven Hard," 2 Apr. 2020 In contrast, the Drosophila connectome shows every country lane, overpass, cloverleaf, and roundabout made by the 25,000 neurons, as the scientists describe in a preliminary paper (more are on the way). Sharon Begley, STAT, "A ‘landmark’ achievement: Scientists trace full wiring diagram of the fly brain’s core," 22 Jan. 2020 Taking Ogden is too dangerous, because of the cloverleaf with multiple on and off ramps to and from I-294, Heinz said. Kimberly Fornek,, "The I-294 pedestrian bridge connecting Hinsdale and Western Springs will be removed. Will a new bridge have a new location?," 7 Oct. 2019 Some of the shell ridges stretched to 13 feet tall, and were clustered to form cloverleaf-like compounds of between six and 12 rings. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Using Drone-Mounted Lasers, Scientists Find Ancient Bead-Making, Island-Dwelling Community in Florida," 29 Oct. 2019 The real problem is the nearby Trimble/De La Cruz cloverleaf where three lanes on Trimble go down to two over 101, no merge area onto 101 south, etc. Gary Richards, The Mercury News, "Patience needed for 101 to 87 fix: Roadshow," 22 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cloverleaf.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cloverleaf


circa 1884, in the meaning defined above


1931, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for cloverleaf

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The first known use of cloverleaf was circa 1884

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Cite this Entry

“Cloverleaf.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on cloverleaf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cloverleaf

Nglish: Translation of cloverleaf for Spanish Speakers

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