qua·​tre·​foil ˈka-tər-ˌfȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce quatrefoil (audio)
: a conventionalized representation of a flower with four petals or of a leaf with four leaflets
: a 4-lobed foliation in architecture

Illustration of quatrefoil

Illustration of quatrefoil
  • quatrefoil 2

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Made of durable vinyl, these 12x12-inch tiles come in a set of 10 and feature an elegant quatrefoil pattern. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Dec. 2022 Just in case, Van Cleef & Arpels began using the Alhambra talisman in 1968—a four-leaf clover motif inspired by the Moorish quatrefoil—and every year the jewelry maison releases a special holiday pendant. Michael Solomon, Forbes, 10 Dec. 2021 Inside, it is decorated with a medallion at the bottom and a quatrefoil motif surrounded by flowers. Dave Collins, courant.com, 17 Mar. 2021 In the center of the bowl, which measures six inches in diameter, is a formalized quatrefoil motif encircled by a wreath of flowers and leaves. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 18 Mar. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quatrefoil.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English quaterfoil set of four leaves, from Anglo-French quatre + Middle English -foil (as in trefoil)

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of quatrefoil was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near quatrefoil

Cite this Entry

“Quatrefoil.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quatrefoil. Accessed 31 May. 2023.

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