• WordNet 3.6
    • n cinquefoil an ornamental carving consisting of five arcs arranged in a circle
    • n cinquefoil any of a numerous plants grown for their five-petaled flowers; abundant in temperate regions; alleged to have medicinal properties
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cinquefoil (Arch) An ornamental foliation having five points or cups, used in windows, panels, etc.
    • Cinquefoil (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.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cinquefoil An ornament in the Pointed style of architecture, consisting of five cuspidated divisions. This form is frequently introduced in circular windows, bosses, rosettes, etc. See foil.
    • n cinquefoil The common name of several species of plants of the genus Potentilla, from their quinate leaves. Also called five-finger. See Potentilla.
    • n cinquefoil In heraldry, a five-leafed clover, used as a bearing. It is represented conventionally as having a round leaf at the intersection of the five stems, and also as a figure with five lobes about a small circle forming the center.
    • n cinquefoil Also spelled cinqfoil.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cinque, five + foil, F. feuille, leaf. See Foil


In literature:

Sir James Astley hung his shield of cinquefoil ermine over the quarter of the Thomas.
"Sir Nigel" by Arthur Conan Doyle
Comarum palustre (Purple Marsh Cinquefoil) .
"Handbook to the Severn Valley Railway Illustrative and Descriptive of Places along the Line from Worcester to Shrewsbury" by J. Randall
In the head of the largest arch is a cinquefoil opening ornamented with cusps and dog-tooth moulding.
"The Cathedral Church of York" by A. Clutton-Brock
On the west side, near the outer archway, is a cinquefoiled recess, with shafts of Purbeck marble and foliated cusps.
"Bell's Cathedrals: Wimborne Minster and Christchurch Priory" by Thomas Perkins
The central doorway is divided by a clustered shaft, where from spring two cinquefoil arches.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Winchester" by Philip Walsingham Sergeant
Water parsnip, sweet flag, cinquefoil, bat's blood, deadly nightshade, and oil.
"The Witch-cult in Western Europe" by Margaret Alice Murray
These are decorated with trefoils and quatrefoils, alternately with cinquefoils and octofoils.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Salisbury" by Gleeson White
Opposite to it is an enclosed Early English window, with cinquefoil heads and shafts in the jambs.
"A Yacht Voyage Round England" by W.H.G. Kingston
The panels are pointed and divided each into two cinquefoil divisions.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ripon" by Cecil Walter Charles Hallett
They are closely allied to cinquefoil, and all belong to the rose family.
"Seed Dispersal" by William J. Beal