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tick trefoil

any of numerous plants belonging to the genus Desmodium, of the legume family, having trifoliolate leaves and jointed pods with hooked hairs by which they adhere to objects.
Origin of tick trefoil
1855-60, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for tick-trefoil
Historical Examples
  • Over by the wire fence the tick-trefoil, desmodium, is in its glory.

    Some Summer Days in Iowa Frederick John Lazell
  • Now he reaches the tick-trefoil, and nips out some stamens from its purple blossoms, which he eats with relish.

    Some Summer Days in Iowa Frederick John Lazell
British Dictionary definitions for tick-trefoil

tick trefoil

any of various tropical and subtropical leguminous plants of the genus Desmodium, having trifoliate leaves, clusters of small purplish or white flowers, and sticky jointed seed pods, which separate into segments that cling to animals Also called beggar-ticks
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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