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/fleɪ; vleɪ/
(South African) an area of low marshy ground, esp one that feeds a stream
(Northern US, dialect) a marsh
Word Origin
C19: from Afrikaans (for sense 1); from obsolete N American Dutch dialect (for sense 2): valley
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Examples from the Web for vlei
Historical Examples
  • The vlei must be there; it was heart-breaking to be baffled in this way.

    Tales of South Africa H.A. Bryden
  • We had, somehow, no wish to bequeath to others the secret of the vlei.

    Tales of South Africa H.A. Bryden
  • Out of the vlei rushed the buffalo by dozens, every one of them making remarks in its own language as it came.

    Child of Storm H. Rider Haggard
  • The men in the vlei were knocked on the head with stones or knob-kerries, and a second disaster befell the Zulu army.

  • One is beside the vlei near the Bavians Kloof; the other is in the thorn-bushes a mile from it.

  • Enough water was in the vlei to last two or three days, with care.

  • Descending a steep declivity, we posted ourselves, I at the top, and Higgs and Orme a little way down either side of this vlei.

    Queen Sheba's Ring H. Rider Haggard
  • But the vlei from which the place takes its name was the very deuce for wheeled transport.

    On the Heels of De Wet

    The Intelligence Officer
  • And yet Tobias was no fool; he described the vlei very plainly to us more than once; and he firmly believed in it.

    Tales of South Africa H.A. Bryden
  • This vlei—the long-lost vlei, undoubtedly—was about half a mile long by three hundred yards in breadth.

    Tales of South Africa H.A. Bryden

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