- Southern African an area of low marshy ground, esp one that feeds a stream
- Northern US dialect a marsh
C19: from Afrikaans (for sense 1); from obsolete N American Dutch dialect (for sense 2): valley
Examples from the Web for vlei
The vlei must be there; it was heart-breaking to be baffled in this way.
We had, somehow, no wish to bequeath to others the secret of the vlei.
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.The White Chief of the Caffres
One is beside the Vlei near the Bavians Kloof; the other is in the thorn-bushes a mile from it.Adventures of Hans Sterk