from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A plant having compound leaves with three small leaflets, especially a clover or wood sorrel.
- noun The compound leaf of one of these plants.
- noun A representation of one of these plants or leaves, used as a national emblem of Ireland.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A plant with trifoliate leaves: the national emblem of Ireland.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (Bot.) A trifoliate plant used as a national emblem by the Irish. The legend is that St. Patrick once plucked a leaf of it for use in illustrating the doctrine of the trinity.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun The
trefoil leafof any small clover, especially Trifolium repens, or such a leaf from a clover-like plant.
- noun Any of several small
plants, forms of clover, with trefoil leaves, especially Trifolium repens.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun Eurasian plant with heart-shaped trifoliate leaves and white purple-veined flowers
- noun creeping European clover having white to pink flowers and bright green leaves; naturalized in United States; widely grown for forage
- noun clover native to Ireland with yellowish flowers; often considered the true or original shamrock
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Three men were attempting to do the Riverdance in shamrock-shaped slippers.
The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground;
But the shamrock is a tender a plant, it's beauty soon will fade
"Then you don't know why the shamrock is our national emblem?"
For years I was lead to believe that the shamrock was a large, green 3 leaf clover, in my mind, ranging from the size of a 5c to 20c piece.
"St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, explaining the Holy Trinity by the shamrock, which is three persons in one God," says Byrne.
The shamrock is the symbol of the struggle against oppression.
Just a few comments: 1. The three leaf clover you refer to is in fact 'shamrock', our national symbol.
A distinguished Irishman once showed me the "shamrock" he was wearing in his buttonhole as "the true" plant of that name.
Thus the small Lucerne clover or medicago is often sold as "shamrock" to Irish patriots, and the watercress has been solemnly pat forward as the true shamrock simply because old writers tell us, as evidence of the barbarous state of the Irish, that they fed upon shamrocks and watercress.