- a specialized leaf or leaflike part, usually situated at the base of a flower or inflorescence.
Origin of bract
1760–70; earlier bractea < Latin: a thin plate of metal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordsneedle, stalk, frond, petal, scale, blade, leaflet, flag, pad, bract, stipule, petiole, foliole
Examples from the Web for bract
The lower part of the bract forms a sheath which encloses the ovary.
Union of the leaf or bract with the flower-stalk is not uncommon.
Br, The bract devoid of muscles and respiratory in function.
Diagram of Violet-flower; showing the relation of parts to bract and axis.The Elements of Botany
The bract and pedicels of the umbel all spring from the extremity of a peduncle 1½in.
- a specialized leaf, usually smaller than the foliage leaves, with a single flower or inflorescence growing in its axil
C18: from New Latin bractea, Latin: thin metal plate, gold leaf, variant of brattea, of obscure origin
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 bract
in botany, "small leaf at the base of a flower," Modern Latin, from Latin bractea, literally "thin metal plate," of unknown origin. Related: Bracteal; bracteate.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A modified leaf growing just below a flower or flower stalk. Bracts are generally small and inconspicuous, but some are showy and petallike, as the brightly colored bracts of bougainvillaea or the white or pink bracts of flowering dogwoods.
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