tu·​le ˈtü-lē How to pronounce tule (audio)
plural tules
: any of various large bulrushes
especially : a tall sedge (Schoenoplectus acutus synonym Scirpus acutus) of North America that grows in dense stands along freshwater wetlands
The roots and seeds of tule, a reed that grows along shorelines and in the shallows, were eaten and the reeds themselves were used to make baskets, cord, sandals and clothing. Philip Kopper et al.
chiefly California : land on which tules are the dominant or characteristic native plant
usually plural
This habitat is fed and flooded by Butte Creek and is defined by a matrix of marsh, tules, shallow waterways and uplands with oaks and willows.Tom Stienstra

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Bark and tule was harvested, scraped and woven. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, 20 Nov. 2020 The tule boat launch — ha kwaiyo asooq weno, in Kumeyaay — will begin around 10:30 a.m., when about 50 boats are launched at Silver Strand State Beach in Coronado. Lauren J. Mappstaff Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Aug. 2022 As the Pacific rose with the melting of the northern ice sheet, the tule marshes rose with it, and the underlying layer of submerged dead plant material thickened, creating a stratum of what is really a juvenile fossil fuel. David Owen, The New Yorker, 11 May 2022 The tule must be harvested from freshwater marshes in a sustainable way. San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Aug. 2022 Kumeyaay students, professors and community members will sail 50 traditional tule boats into the ocean Saturday as part of Kumeyaay Community College’s curriculum and efforts for cultural preservation. Lauren J. Mappstaff Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Aug. 2022 Nearby, a tranquil backwater cove lined with tule and other water plants is so quiet that the sound of a paddle from a blue fiberglass boat slapping the water is clearly heard. AZCentral.com, 8 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Spanish, from Nahuatl tōllin

First Known Use

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tule was in 1837

Dictionary Entries Near tule

Cite this Entry

“Tule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tule. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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