cinque·foil (sĭngkfoil′, săngk-)
1. Any of various herbs or shrubs chiefly of the genus Potentilla of the rose family, native to northern temperate regions and having yellow or sometimes white or red flowers and compound leaves that in some species bear five leaflets. Also called potentilla.
2. Architecture A design having five sides composed of converging arcs, usually used as a frame for glass or a panel.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.