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From Latin bractea (a thin plate of metal; gold leaf).


bract (plural bracts)

  1. (botany) A leaf or leaf-like structure from the axil out of which a stalk of a flower or an inflorescence arises.
    • 1789, Erasmus Darwin, The Loves of the Plants, J. Johnson, page 9:
      In this vegetable monster the bractes, or divisions of the spike, become wonderfully enlarged; and are converted into leaves.
    • 1793, Thomas Martyn, The Language of Botany:
      A Verticil or Whirl may be [] Naked; that is without involucre, bracte or brittle. Bracted - or Involucred
    • 2017, Benjamin Myers, The Gallows Pole, Bloomsbury, published 2019, page 31:
      Great dense patches of them grew, four and five and six feet deep, impenetrable swathes of dark green bracts that advertised their danger.