bul·​rush | \ˈbu̇l-ˌrəsh \
variants: or less commonly bullrush

Definition of bulrush 

: any of several large rushes or sedges growing in wetlands: such as

a : any of a genus (Scirpus, especially S. lacustris) of annual or perennial sedges that bear solitary or much-clustered spikelets containing perfect flowers with a perianth of six bristles

b British : either of two cattails (Typha latifolia and T. angustifolia)

c : papyrus

Examples of bulrush in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

A year later, plants such as woolgrass bulrush, brome hummock sedge, giant bur-reed, marsh marigold, queen-of-the-prairie and spike gayfeather are attracting dragonflies and monarch butterflies. Patrick M. O'connell, chicagotribune.com, "A 'wild mile' on the Chicago River? It might be closer than you think," 22 June 2018 Spooked, Pharaoh decreed that all male babies be murdered, which is why Moses was hidden in a basket among the Nile’s bulrushes, to protect him. Menachem Wecker, National Review, "The Catholic Undertones of Vermeer’s Masterpieces," 1 Nov. 2017 Muskrat lodges—small mounds made from bulrush and cattail—dot the landscape. National Geographic, "Why Are These Male Fish Growing Eggs?," 3 Feb. 2016 Ted Cavanaugh TED CAVANAUGH RUSH Also known as bulrush or cattail, this wetland reed has serious bona fides: It’s been used to shape chair backs and bottoms since the time of the pharaohs. Martha Stewart, star-telegram, "Weave these decorative pieces into a room’s design naturally," 5 Aug. 2017 Yet this largely wordless series of tableaus tells a story of abandonment, and the baby in the bulrushes isn’t the only injured party. Laura Collins-hughes, New York Times, "Romeo Castellucci," 10 June 2016 Muskrat lodges—small mounds made from bulrush and cattail—dot the landscape. National Geographic, "Why Are These Male Fish Growing Eggs?," 3 Feb. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bulrush.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bulrush

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bulrush

Middle English bulrysche

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Dictionary Entries near bulrush

bully tree




bulrush millet



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The first known use of bulrush was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for bulrush


bul·​rush | \ˈbu̇l-ˌrəsh \

Kids Definition of bulrush

: any of several large rushes or sedges that grow in wet places

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Comments on bulrush

What made you want to look up bulrush? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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