Definition of palmate in US English:



  • 1Botany
    (of a leaf) having several lobes (typically 5–7) whose midribs all radiate from one point.

    • ‘The leaves are palmate and have a hairy texture.’
    • ‘The deciduous climber, ampelopsis brevipedunculata, hails from woodland in Asia and North America, and is invaluable here, not just for its gorgeous palmate hairy leaves but, for its fruit.’
    • ‘Large palmate leaves are the main attraction of this 5 foot tall plant.’
    • ‘Castor oil plants are easy to recognise from the palmate like leaves with pointy ‘fingers’ and an often purple coloured stem.’
    • ‘The distinctive, compound palmate leaves typically drop with heat or drought, but defoliation may be less with more shade and water.’
  • 2Zoology
    (of an antler) in which the angles between the tines are partly filled in to form a broad flat surface, as in fallow deer and moose.

    • ‘In all cases, they consist of a single tine removed from a palmate section of an antler beam.’
    • ‘They also bear prominent ribs and are tightly adpressed to the body, but are larger than the palmate sclerites.’
    • ‘Like the palmate sclerites, the plane of the base is oriented perpendicular to that of the blade, but it may be offset from the blade by a broad constriction.’
    • ‘The sharp angle between the base and the blade of both of these variants suggests that they probably occupied the dorsal or lateral zones, where the palmate and cultrate sclerites occur.’
    • ‘Megaloceros had large palmate antlers with a span up to 3.7 m and a weight around 45 kg.’


Mid 18th century: from Latin palmatus, from palma ‘palm’ (see palm).