trefoil

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tre·foil / ˈtrēˌfoil; ˈtrefˌoil/ • n. a small plant (genera Trifolium and Lotus) of the pea family with yellow flowers and three-lobed cloverlike leaves. ∎  a similar or related plant with three-lobed leaves. ∎  an ornamental design of three rounded lobes like a clover leaf, used typically in architectural tracery. ∎  a thing having three parts; a set of three: a trefoil of parachutes. ∎  [as adj.] denoting something shaped in the form of a trefoil leaf: trefoil windows. DERIVATIVES: tre·foiled adj.

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trefoilboil, Boyle, broil, coil, Dáil, Doyle, embroil, Fianna Fáil, foil, Hoyle, moil, noil, oil, roil, Royle, soil, spoil, toil, voile •parboil • trefoil • jetfoil • airfoil •cinquefoil • milfoil • tinfoil • multifoil • aerofoil • hydrofoil •counterfoil • gargoyle • turmoil •charbroil • topsoil • subsoil

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trefoil plant of the genus Trifolium, having triple leaves. XIV. ME. treyfoyle, trifoile — AN. trifoil- L. trifolium, f. TRI- + folium leaf, FOIL2.

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trefoil Any of numerous plants, such as clover, with leaves divided into three parts. Bird's-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) is used as hay and forage. Family Fabaceae/Leguminosae.

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trefoil. See foil.

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trefoil an ornamental design of three rounded lobes like a clover leaf, used typically in architectural tracery.