brack·​en ˈbra-kən How to pronounce bracken (audio)
: a large coarse fern
especially : a nearly cosmopolitan brake (Pteridium aquilinum) found in most tropical and temperate regions
: a growth of brakes

Examples of bracken in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Come morning, all this would be vines, bracken, and bears. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 5 Nov. 2023 The few shards of sunlight that pierce the leaf canopy cast glitter-ball shapes on the bracken. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Aug. 2023 Habitats include bracken grassland, oak savanna and sand prairies. Christopher Kuhagen, Journal Sentinel, 6 June 2023 In a statement, Cornwall Archaeological Unit senior archaeologist Peter Dudley, said that 13 volunteers gave 111 hours of their time to clear the bracken and scrub that obscured the henge. Jane Recker, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 May 2022 The crash of wild bodies in the bracken thundered in my ears. Outside Online, 25 May 2020 Some dishes on display — radish pickles, or mushrooms paired with gently chewy bracken ferns dressed in nutty perilla oil, or tangles of acorn-flour noodles — bring to mind an uplifting array of banchan. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2022 In the mountains, the iris are always first to bloom, the bracken ferns the last to poke through the forest floor, now imminent. Tom Stienstra,, 12 Apr. 2020 Trees, bracken, and even roads sparkle in milky light. Juliana Hanle, Scientific American, 18 Nov. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bracken.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English braken, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Swedish brækne fern

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bracken was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near bracken

Cite this Entry

“Bracken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


brack·​en ˈbrak-ən How to pronounce bracken (audio)
: a large coarse branching fern
also : a growth of such ferns

More from Merriam-Webster on bracken

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