brack·​en | \ ˈbra-kən How to pronounce bracken (audio) \

Definition of bracken

1 : a large coarse fern especially : a nearly cosmopolitan brake (Pteridium aquilinum) found in most tropical and temperate regions
2 : a growth of brakes

Examples of bracken in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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 The way the procession works is that bracken ferns and willows turn first, then maples, followed by aspens, dogwoods and other hardwoods. Tom Stienstra,, 22 Sep. 2019 Hills were covered in heather and bracken, and the fields were divided by old stone walls that had fallen apart in places. Marc Myers, WSJ, 28 Aug. 2018 The Iceman’s last meal was balanced with grains from einkorn wheat and traces of a genus of toxic ferns called bracken. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, 12 July 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bracken.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bracken

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bracken

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

Learn More About bracken

Time Traveler for bracken

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near bracken



bracken poisoning

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bracken

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bracken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for bracken


brack·​en | \ ˈbra-kən How to pronounce bracken (audio) \

Kids Definition of bracken

: a large branching fern

More from Merriam-Webster on bracken

Nglish: Translation of bracken for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about bracken


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!