- any of a genus (Trifolium) of low-growing plants of the pea family, usually with leaves of three leaflets and small flowers in dense heads
- any similar plant of the pea family
- a leaf of any of these plants, with a (specified) number of leaflets: a four-leaf clover
Origin of cloverMiddle English from Old English clafre, akin to Middle Low German kl?ver, German klee from Indo-European base an unverified form glei-, to stick: see clay
- Any of various herbs of the genus Trifolium in the pea family, having trifoliolate leaves and dense heads of small flowers and including species grown for forage, for erosion control, and as a source of nectar for honeybees.
- Any of several other plants in the pea family, such as bush clover and sweet clover.
- Any of several nonleguminous plants, such as water clover.
Origin of cloverMiddle English from Old English clāfre
Middle English clovere, claver, from Old English clāfre, earlier clǣfre, from Proto-Germanic *klaibrǭ (compare Saterland Frisian Kleeuwer, Dutch klaver, dialectal Low German Kleeber, Kleewer), enlargement of *klaiwaz (compare Plautdietsch Kjlee, German Klee), from Proto-Indo-European *glei- (“to stick”) (compare Old Church Slavonic [script?] (glěvŭ, “slime”), Ancient Greek γλοιός (gloiós, “glue, tar”)). More at cleave, clay.