trefoil

noun tre·foil \ ˈtrē-ˌfȯi(-ə)l , ˈtre- \

Definition of trefoil

1 a : clover 1; broadly : any of several leguminous herbs (such as bird's-foot trefoil) with leaves that have or appear to have three leaflets
b : a trifoliolate leaf
2 : an ornament or symbol in the form of a stylized trifoliolate leaf

Recent Examples of trefoil from the Web

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

Illustration of trefoil

Origin and Etymology of trefoil

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin trifolium, from tri- + folium leaf — more at blade

Other Seed Plant Terms


TREFOIL Defined for English Language Learners

trefoil

noun

Definition of trefoil for English Language Learners

  • : a plant (such as a clover) that has three leaves on each stem

  • : a decorative object or design that is shaped like a leaf with three parts


TREFOIL Defined for Kids

trefoil

noun tre·foil \ ˈtrē-ˌfȯil \

Definition of trefoil for Students

1 : a clover or related plant having leaves with three leaflets
2 : a fancy design with three leaflike parts


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