Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having a shape similar to that of a hand with the fingers extended.
  • adjective Botany Having three or more veins, leaflets, or lobes radiating from one point; digitate.
  • adjective Zoology Having webbing that connects the three front toes, as the feet of many waterbirds.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Like an open palm; resembling a hand with the fingers extended.
  • Web-footed, as a bird; palmiped; webbed; specifically, of or pertaining to the Palmatæ. Compare semipalmate, totipalmate.
  • In botany, originally, having five lobes, with the midribs diverging from a common center; by later botanists extended to leaves that are lobed or divided so that the sinuses point to or reach the apex of the petiole, somewhat irrespective of the number of lobes. See digitate, and cuts under leaf.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Having the shape of the hand; resembling a hand with the fingers spread.
  • adjective (Bot.) Spreading from the apex of a petiole, as the divisions of a leaf, or leaflets, so as to resemble the hand with outspread fingers.
  • adjective Having the anterior toes united by a web, as in most swimming birds; webbed. See Illust. (i) under Aves.
  • adjective Having the distal portion broad, flat, and more or less divided into lobes; -- said of certain corals, antlers, etc.
  • noun (Chem.), obsolescent A salt of palmic acid; a ricinoleate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Having three or more lobes or veins arising from a common point.
  • adjective botany (leaves) Having more than three leaflets arising from a common point, often in the form of a fan.
  • adjective rare Having webbed appendage; palmated.
  • adjective rare Hand-like; shaped like a hand with extended fingers
  • noun chemistry A salt or ester of ricinoleic acid; a ricinoleate.

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

  • adjective of a leaf shape; having leaflets or lobes radiating from a common point
  • adjective (of the feet of water birds) having three toes connected by a thin fold of skin

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin palmatus ("hand-shaped"), by extension (as palma acquired the meaning "palm tree"), "palm-leaf shaped".

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