from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A leaflike or scalelike plant part, usually small, sometimes showy or brightly colored, and located just below a flower, a flower stalk, or an inflorescence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A leaf or leaf-like structure from the axil of which a the stalk of a flower or an inflorescence arises.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A leaf, usually smaller than the true leaves of a plant, from the axil of which a flower stalk arises.
  • n. Any modified leaf, or scale, on a flower stalk or at the base of a flower.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In botany, a leaf in a flower-cluster or subtending a flower, usually differing somewhat from an ordinary leaf in size, form, or texture, often much reduced, and sometimes petaloid, highly colored, and very conspicuous.
  • n. In zoology, a part of a hydrozoan likened to a bract of a plant; a hydrophyllium. See cuts under Athorybia and hydrophyllium.
  • n. A thin plate of metal used as an ornament, as, for example, one of the gold disk-like ornaments made in Scandinavian countries in the Viking age.
  • n. The oval distal exite on the appendages of certain segments of phyllopod crustaceans, as Apus, probably serving a respiratory function.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a modified leaf or leaflike part just below and protecting an inflorescence


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Latin bractea, gold leaf, perhaps from Greek brakhein, to rattle.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.