bul·​rush ˈbu̇l-ˌrəsh How to pronounce bulrush (audio)
variants or less commonly bullrush
: any of several large rushes or sedges growing in wetlands: such as
: 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
British : either of two cattails (Typha latifolia and T. angustifolia)

Examples of bulrush in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The swale narrows and continues below the deck, featuring various rush and sedge species, Yerba mansa, low bulrush, coast rosemary and even a little patch of Dymondia ground cover that wandered in from a nearby spot by the mud kitchen. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jan. 2024 And though much of the textual history will be familiar to scholars who have gone deep into the weeds, or the bulrushes, Wright does a terrific job of bringing it forward for his readers. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 21 Aug. 2023 The captivating colors showcase an impressive plant community of marshes, cattail stands, bulrush beds and mesquite bosques that each year lure thousands of migratory birds. Jake Frederico, The Arizona Republic, 19 June 2023 The bulrush mats, which were hand-woven by Wampanoag members, and bearskins were shipped to a Plymouth police detective three weeks after the theft was reported. Brian MacQuarrie, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Dec. 2022 After receiving a brief medical checkup—including an ear-cleaning, with ethanol—the vole was released back into the bulrush. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 4 Jan. 2022 There are now thousands of pupfish in a network of artificial ponds, which are planted with three-square bulrush and give a convincingly timeless appearance. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 4 Jan. 2022 Marshland was cleared and planted with more bulrush. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 4 Jan. 2022 Dedicated to Nile gods and commissioned by wealthy citizens, they are set above a shore lined with bulrushes. Eroded but evocative, some retain images of patrons and traces of paintings. Michelle Green, New York Times, 11 Nov. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bulrush.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English bulrysche

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near bulrush

Cite this Entry

“Bulrush.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bulrush. Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


bul·​rush ˈbu̇l-ˌrəsh How to pronounce bulrush (audio)
: any of several large sedges or rushes growing in wet land or water

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