[too-puh-loh, tyoo-]

noun, plural tu·pe·los.

any of several trees of the genus Nyssa, having ovate leaves, clusters of minute flowers, and purple, berrylike fruit, especially N. aquatica, of swampy regions of the eastern, southern, and midwestern U.S.
the soft, light wood of these trees.

Origin of tupelo

1720–30, Americanism; perhaps < Creek *’topilwa literally, swamp tree (equivalent to íto tree + opílwa swamp)


[too-puh-loh, tyoo-]


a city in NE Mississippi.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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noun plural -los

any of several cornaceous trees of the genus Nyssa, esp N. aquatica, a large tree of deep swamps and rivers of the southern US
the light strong wood of any of these trees

Word Origin for tupelo

C18: from Creek ito opilwa, from ito tree + opilwa swamp
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 tupelo

black gum tree, 1730, apparently from Cree (Algonquian) ito opilwa "swamp tree."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper