- a large fern or brake, especially Pteridium aquilinum.
- a cluster or thicket of such ferns; an area overgrown with ferns and shrubs.
Origin of bracken
1275–1325; Middle English braken < Scandinavian; compare Swedish bräken fern, Norwegian brake juniper
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for 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.Gilian The Dreamer
Mr. Bracken did not take his hat and mutter that he would be back for dinner.
I thought I'd have to wait until Mrs. Bracken came home to let me out.
Mrs. Bracken slipped across the room and put her hand on his arm.
- 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
- a clump of any of these ferns
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").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper