bract

[brakt]
noun Botany.
a specialized leaf or leaflike part, usually situated at the base of a flower or inflorescence.

Origin:
1760–70; earlier bractea < Latin: a thin plate of metal

bracteal [brak-tee-uhl] , adjective
bracted, adjective
bractless, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bract (brækt)
 
n
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]
 
'bracteal
 
adj
 
'bractless
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bract
in botany, "small leaf at the base of a flower," from Mod.L., from L. bractea, lit. "thin metal plate," of unknown origin. Related: Bracteal; bracteate.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
bract   (brākt)  Pronunciation Key 
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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Example sentences
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.
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