[ pey-lee-uh ]
/ ˈpeɪ li ə /

noun, plural pa·le·ae [pey-lee-ee] /ˈpeɪ liˌi/.

a chafflike scale or bract.
the scalelike, membranous organ in the flowers of grasses that is situated upon a secondary axis in the axil of the flowering glume and envelops the stamens and pistil.

Origin of palea

1745–55; < New Latin, special use of Latin palea chaff


pa·le·a·ceous [pey-lee-ey-shuh s] /ˌpeɪ liˈeɪ ʃəs/, pa·le·ate [pey-lee-it, ‐eyt] /ˈpeɪ li ɪt, ‐ˌeɪt/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for palea

British Dictionary definitions for palea



/ (ˈpeɪlɪə) /

noun plural paleae (ˈpeɪlɪˌiː) or pales botany

the inner of two bracts surrounding each floret in a grass spikeletCompare lemma 1
any small membranous bract or scale

Derived forms of palea

paleaceous (ˌpeɪlɪˈeɪʃəs), adjective

Word Origin for palea

C18: from Latin: straw, chaff; see pallet 1
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

Science definitions for palea

[ pālēə ]

Plural paleae (lē-ē′)

The inner or upper of the two bracts enclosing one of the small flowers within a grass spikelet.
The chaffy scales on the receptacle of a flower head in a plant of the composite family.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.