Definition of bulrush in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbʊlrʌʃ/
(also bullrush)


1A tall reed-like water plant with strap-like leaves and a dark brown velvety cylindrical head of numerous tiny flowers. Also called reed mace.
  • Genus Typha, family Typhaceae: several species, in particular T. latifolia.
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.
2 another term for clubrush.
Example sentences
  • Northeastern bulrush inhabits small vernal ponds that occur within the forest matrix.
  • Soft-stem bulrush occurs throughout North America from central Alaska south to Mexico, east to the Maritime Provinces of Canada, and south through Florida.
  • Interspersed are areas dominated by mulefat, and low marshy areas dominated by bulrush (Scirpus sp.) and cattails (Typha sp.).
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.


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

  • 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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bul|rush

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