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[brakt] /brækt/
noun, Botany
a specialized leaf or leaflike part, usually situated at the base of a flower or inflorescence.
1760-70; earlier bractea < Latin: a thin plate of metal
Related forms
[brak-tee-uh l] /ˈbræk ti əl/ (Show IPA),
bracted, adjective
bractless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bract
  • Behind each scale is a bract, a small, flat modified leaf.
  • Subtended by an involucral bract that appears to be a continuation of the stem.
  • Anthracnose may also occur as a bract blight, with pink to reddish spots forming on infected bracts.
  • The primary bract usually exceeds the inflorescence.
  • The bract is slightly longer than the terminal spike.
British Dictionary definitions for bract


a specialized leaf, usually smaller than the foliage leaves, with a single flower or inflorescence growing in its axil
Derived Forms
bracteal, adjective
bractless, adjective
Word Origin
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
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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
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bract in Science
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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