Definition of bracteate in US English:



  • Having or bearing bracts.

    • ‘They are a variety of the preceding, but of smaller size and with the bracteate leaves dull red.’
    • ‘Female inflorescences are terminal, solitary or in spikes, racemes or capitula, short, bracteate, with crowded flowers, often pendulous in fruit.’
    • ‘It has white flowers in a whorled, bracteate raceme, no spathe, roots with tubers.’
    • ‘Male spikelets are on separate individuals, in small bracteate heads 1-2 cm in diameter.’


  • An ornament or plate of thinly beaten precious metal, typically a thin gold disc.

    • ‘At first I thought it probable that Alexander might have derived it from the bracteates or gold medals, which he must have often seen worn on the breasts of Norwegian kings and chieftains.’
    • ‘These bracteates date from the sixth or seventh century onward; some have come down from the Viking period.’
    • ‘He only recorded the details of the men's heads in order to be able to study bracteates without any animals as well.’
    • ‘Before working with gold bracteates, I practiced with shiny coins, though I did not have any gold ones.’
    • ‘The high quality of the die-cutting places the bracteates in the ranks of the most important small works of Romanesque art.’


Early 19th century: from Latin bracteatus, from bractea (see bract).