[ boo l-ruhsh ]
/ ˈbʊlˌrʌʃ /


(in Biblical use) the papyrus, Cyperus papyrus.
any of various rushes of the genera Scirpus and Typha.

Nearby words

  1. bullyboy,
  2. bullycide,
  3. bullying,
  4. bullyrag,
  5. bulnbuln,
  6. bultmann,
  7. bulwark,
  8. bulwer,
  9. bulwer-lytton,
  10. bum

Origin of bulrush

1400–50; late Middle English bulrish papyrus, probably bull1 + rish rush2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bulrush

British Dictionary definitions for bulrush


/ (ˈbʊlˌrʌʃ) /


a grasslike cyperaceous marsh plant, Scirpus lacustris, used for making mats, chair seats, etc
a popular name for reed mace (def. 1)
a biblical word for papyrus (def. 1)

Word Origin for bulrush

C15 bulrish, bul- perhaps from bull 1 + rish rush ², referring to the largeness of the plant; sense 2 derived from the famous painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836–1912), Dutch-born English painter, of the finding of the infant Moses in the "bulrushes" — actually reed mace

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bulrush



also bullrush, type of tall plant growing in or near water (in Biblical use, the Egyptian papyrus), mid-15c., bolroysche, from rush (n.); the signification of bull is doubtful.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper