• synonyms


[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.
  3. Zoology. web-footed.
  4. Furniture.
    1. decorated with palmettes.
    2. (in furniture of the 17th century) having bands of semicircles enclosing a radiating leaf form.
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Often pal·mat·ed [pal-mey-tid, pahl- pah-mey-] /ˈpæl meɪ tɪd, ˈpɑl- ˈpɑ meɪ-/.

Origin of palmate

First recorded in 1750–60, palmate is from the Latin word palmātus shaped like a palm. See palm1, -ate1
Related formspal·mate·ly, adverbsub·pal·mate, adjectivesub·pal·mat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for palmate

Historical Examples

  • Palmate: like the palm of the hand, with finger-like processes.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith

  • The leaves are palmate, and they are divided into three or five stalked leaflets.

  • The branches are more or less flattened, and often are palmate at the ends.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • Climbing, with lobed, palmate pinn and terminal fruit-clusters.

    How to Know the Ferns

    Frances Theodora Parsons

  • It was a large tree, with palmate leaves having seven fingers.

    The Sea and the Jungle

    H. M. Tomlinson

British Dictionary definitions for palmate



  1. shaped like an open handpalmate antlers
  2. botany having more than three lobes or segments that spread out from a common pointpalmate leaves
  3. (of the feet of most water birds) having three toes connected by a web
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Word Origin

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

palmate in Medicine


(pălmāt′, päl-, pämāt′)
  1. Having a shape similar to that of a hand with the fingers extended.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

palmate in Science


[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.
  3. Having webbed toes. The feet of many swimming and diving birds are palmate.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.