[ pal-meyt, -mit, pahl-, pah-meyt ]

  1. shaped like an open palm or like a hand with the fingers extended, as a leaf or an antler.

  2. Botany. having four or more lobes or leaflets radiating from a single point.

  1. Zoology. web-footed.

  2. Furniture.

    • decorated with palmettes.

    • (in furniture of the 17th century) having bands of semicircles enclosing a radiating leaf form.

Origin of palmate

First recorded in 1750–60, palmate is from the Latin word palmātus shaped like a palm. See palm1, -ate1
  • Often pal·mat·ed [pal-mey-tid, pahl- pah-mey-] /ˈpæl meɪ tɪd, ˈpɑl- ˈpɑ meɪ-/ .

Other words from palmate

  • pal·mate·ly, adverb
  • sub·pal·mate, adjective
  • sub·pal·mat·ed, adjective

Words Nearby palmate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use palmate in a sentence

  • The lower leaves of this plant are spinous and very glaucous, and the upper ones palmate.

    The Sea Shore | William S. Furneaux
  • The leaves are generally palmate and hairy; and the blossoms are large, and of a beautiful yellow.

  • The broad palmate antlers with numerous sharp points sometimes measure 8½ feet or more from tip to tip.

    North America | Israel C. Russell
  • This time Kazan was caught fairly on the broad palmate leaf of the bull's antler, and he was flung back again, half stunned.

    Kazan | James Oliver Curwood
  • The plant is from six to twelve inches high, with palmate tubers, and mostly radical leaves.

    Field and Woodland Plants | William S. Furneaux

British Dictionary definitions for palmate



/ (ˈpælmeɪt, -mɪt) /

  1. shaped like an open hand: palmate antlers

  2. botany having more than three lobes or segments that spread out from a common point: palmate leaves

  1. (of the feet of most water birds) having three toes connected by a web

Origin of palmate

C18: from Latin palmatus, from palma palm; see palm ²

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

Scientific definitions for palmate


[ pălmāt′, päl- ]

  1. Having a shape similar to that of a hand with the fingers extended. Some kinds of coral and the antlers of moose and certain deer are palmate.

  2. Having three or more veins, leaflets, or lobes radiating from one point. Maples have palmately lobed leaves.

  1. Having webbed toes. The feet of many swimming and diving birds are palmate.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.