Bracken growing on a forest floor.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- any of a genus (Pteridium, family Polypodiaceae) of large, coarse, weedy ferns, occurring in meadows, woods, and esp. wastelands: very closely related to the brake ferns
- a growth of such ferns
Origin: Middle English braken ; from Old Norse an unverified form brakni from source Danish bregne
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- A widespread, often weedy fern (Pteridium aquilinum) having large, triangular, pinnately compound fronds and often forming dense thickets.
- An area overgrown with this fern.
Origin: Middle English braken, probably of Scandinavian origin; see bhreg- in Indo-European roots.