Definition of shamrock in English:



  • 1A low-growing clover-like plant with three-lobed leaves, used as the national emblem of Ireland.

    • ‘The vegetable gardens spread out from the house, laced with marigolds and a purple ground cover that looks like shamrocks: trebol, in Spanish.’
    • ‘Shannon Airport would be promoted using the shamrock, ‘the most significant symbol of Ireland in the minds of people throughout the world.’’
    • ‘Irish heritage campaigners delighted as city street vendors begin selling small bundles of old fashioned fresh shamrocks for £2.50.’
    • ‘Green also became associated with this feast day (St. Patrick's Day) because it is the colour of spring, Ireland and the shamrock.’
    • ‘According to legend the shamrock, with its three leaves on the single stalk, was used by St. Patrick to explain the mystery of the Christian Trinity to the pagan Irish.’
    1. 1.1 A shamrock leaf.
      • ‘Among these borrowed motifs are fleurs-de-lis, shamrocks, and various other flora, including, after 1876, the Canadian maple leaf.’
      • ‘There were paper chains hung from the window-frames, construction paper shamrocks Scotch-taped to the glass.’
      • ‘It also explains why the shamrock is the national symbol of Ireland.’
      • ‘Decorated with intricate knot work, a harp and a shamrock, the emblems of the brigade, and with a bronze Irish wolfhound at the foot of the cross, it is reckoned by many to be the most beautiful memorial on the battlefield.’
      • ‘The national emblem is a carved Irish shamrock adorning Government House, and the island's flag and crest show a woman with a cross and harp.’


Late 16th century: from Irish seamróg ‘trefoil’ (diminutive of seamar ‘clover’).