Share this entry

Share this page

bulrush

Syllabification: bul·rush
Pronunciation: /ˈbo͝olˌrəSH
 
/
(also bullrush)

Definition of bulrush in English:

noun

1 another term for cattail.
2A tall rushlike water plant of the sedge family. Native to temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, it has been widely used for weaving and is grown as an aid to water purification in some areas.
  • Scirpus lacustris, family Cyperaceae
Example sentences
  • Visitors are especially intrigued by the large frog pond, complete with real frogs, pollywogs, bog plants, bulrushes, pickerel and water lilies, adjacent to the winery tasting room and cellars.
  • Norma Keane studied water flowers such as white water lilies and bulrushes while Darren Roache enjoyed completing his work on crustaceans.
  • Plants like cattails, bulrushes, jewelweed, and the lovely cardinal flower do best with alternating wet and dry periods, and survive flooding as long as most of the leaves are out of the water.
3(In biblical use) a papyrus plant.
Example sentences
  • Studying it, I finally grasped the connection between the story of the bulrushes and Moses' death before entering the Promised Land.
  • And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink.
  • The biblical story of Moses records that, in order to avoid the persecution of the Pharaoh, Moses' parents concealed him by the river in an ark of bulrushes, from which he was rescued by the Pharaoh's daughter.

Origin

late Middle English: probably from bull1 in the sense 'large or coarse', as in words such as bullfrog.

More
  • bull from (Old English):

    Bull goes back to Old Norse. In Stock Exchange terminology a bull is a person who buys shares hoping to sell them at a higher price later, the opposite of a bear. The latter term came first, and it seems likely that bull was invented as a related animal analogy. Nowadays, people might associate bull in the sense ‘nonsense’ with the rather cruder term bullshit, which has been used with the same meaning since the early 20th century. Bull is much older being first recorded in the early 17th century, in the sense ‘an expression containing a contradiction in terms or a ludicrous inconsistency’. An Irish bull was a fuller name for this. Where this bull comes from is unknown, though the experts are sure it has nothing to do with a papal bull (an order or announcement by the pope), which is from medieval Latin bulla, ‘a sealed document’. The bull of bulrush (Late Middle English) and bullfrog (mid 18th century) probably indicates size and vigour. See also bulletin

Words that rhyme with bulrush

woodrushuprush

Definition of bulrush in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtenəbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure