tu·​le | \ ˈtü-lē How to pronounce tule (audio) \
plural tules

Definition of tule

1 : 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.
2 chiefly California : land on which tules are the dominant or characteristic native plant usually pluralThis 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

Examples of tule in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 1,300-square-mile network, where the Sacramento, San Joaquin and Mokelumne rivers come together, was once a vast tule marsh teeming with salmon, grizzly bears and other wildlife that provided ample food for American Indians. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "The delta’s sinking islands," 12 Jan. 2020 The Ohlone people of Northern California once tied tule stalks into large bundles to cobble together rudimentary canoes that plied the waters of San Francisco Bay. Steve Rubenstein, SFChronicle.com, "Reeds, hands and old ways come together to make Ohlone boat to paddle to Alcatraz," 13 Oct. 2019 Keyholes have been cut in the tules along the route to allow views across the flooded wetlands. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "More than 1 million waterfowl star in driving tour of Sacramento National Wildlife Complex," 23 Nov. 2019 Find warm water and use crankbaits or jigs on the rocks and Senkos or frogs in the tules. sacbee, "Best places to fish right now on Sacramento region waterways," 11 Sep. 2017 Use Senkos among the tules or rip baits along the rocks. sacbee, "Fishing line: Salmon still steady on Sacramento-Delta | The Sacramento Bee," 24 Oct. 2017 On a recent trip, the Dillard cruised to Larkspur to check out a Coast Guard report from the night before of a 40-foot-long log with tules dangling off. Denis Cuff, The Mercury News, "Winter storms create banner year for hazards in S.F. Bay," 19 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tule.' 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 tule

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tule

Spanish, from Nahuatl tōllin

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Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tules. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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