: a leaf from the axil of which a flower or floral axis arises
: a leaf borne on a floral axis
especially : one subtending a flower or flower cluster
bracteal adjective
bracteate adjective
bracted adjective

Examples of bract in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Over the decades, some people, including scientists and public health officials, would maintain that this fluid and the bracts themselves can deliver a hefty — and possibly fatal — jolt of poison to any cat, dog, or person foolish enough to sample them. Stephen C. George, Discover Magazine, 13 Dec. 2023 Is a Poinsettia a Flower? Poinsettias are not flowers but shrubs — the colorful leaves that look like flowers are known as bracts. Stephen C. George, Discover Magazine, 13 Dec. 2023 Luckily, the showy bracts can hold their colors for months. Janet B. Carson,, 11 Dec. 2023 Under this light/dark regime, the bracts begin to turn color. Janet B. Carson,, 11 Dec. 2023 Their startling weather like the bract of the bougainvillea, a leaf turned suddenly dawn, peach or cloud, drawn out from the sun and dark water. Claire Devoogd, The Atlantic, 10 Dec. 2023 By the time spring rolls around, the red bracts on top may still be there, but the stems below will be naked, green sticks. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 22 Sep. 2023 Their primary characteristic is having flower heads with sometimes hundreds of individual florets surrounded by a whorl of protective bracts, which are typically daisy-like in appearance. Elizabeth Waddington, Treehugger, 28 Aug. 2023 The tiny yellowish-green flowers are surrounded by four showy, white, blush or pink petal-like bracts, which open flat and appear like one large white flower. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 28 Aug. 2023

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

Word History


New Latin bractea, from Latin, thin metal plate

First Known Use

1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bract was in 1771

Dictionary Entries Near bract

Cite this Entry

“Bract.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a small leaf or leaflike structure at the base of a flower or flower cluster
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