• synonyms


[brak-uh n]
See more synonyms for bracken on Thesaurus.com
  1. a large fern or brake, especially Pteridium aquilinum.
  2. a cluster or thicket of such ferns; an area overgrown with ferns and shrubs.
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Origin of bracken

1275–1325; Middle English braken < Scandinavian; compare Swedish bräken fern, Norwegian brake juniper
Related formsbrack·ened, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bracken

thicket, scrub, shrubbery, undergrowth, grove, cover, coppice, hedge, copse, dingle, sedge, underwood, brushwood, fern, gorse, bracken, spinney, chaparral, boscage

Examples from the Web for bracken

Historical Examples of bracken

  • I rung my bell, and desired Mr. Bracken might be sent to me.

    Paul Gosslett's Confessions in Love, Law, and The Civil Service

    Charles James Lever

  • I wiped it with a tuft of bracken, and I laughed with something of a bitterness.

  • Mr. Bracken did not take his hat and mutter that he would be back for dinner.

    Mary Rose of Mifflin

    Frances R. Sterrett

  • I thought I'd have to wait until Mrs. Bracken came home to let me out.

    Mary Rose of Mifflin

    Frances R. Sterrett

  • Mrs. Bracken slipped across the room and put her hand on his arm.

    Mary Rose of Mifflin

    Frances R. Sterrett

British Dictionary definitions for bracken


  1. Also called: brake any of various large coarse ferns, esp Pteridium aquilinum, having large fronds with spore cases along the undersides and extensive underground stems
  2. a clump of any of these ferns
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Word Origin for bracken

C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish bräken, Danish bregne
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

Word Origin and History for bracken


"coarse fern," early 14c., a northern England word from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish bregne, Swedish bräken "fern").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper