Definition of coulee in English:


Pronunciation /ˈko͞olē//ko͞oˈlā/


  • 1North American A deep ravine.

    • ‘I also do not expect the flood pathway stories to tell that the flood eroded, in several days, 50 cubic miles of basalt and silt that resulted in deep vertical-walled coulees with flat bottoms.’
    • ‘They settled in coulees and river valleys where permanent water and wild hay grew and could sustain them year-round.’
    • ‘It has rolling hills, valleys, ravines and coulees, ideal for stalking.’
    • ‘Once in the bog at the bottom of the coulee, one can see that the high grass is covered with grey silt.’
    • ‘The badlands are significant due to the plethora of fossils and dinosaur bones that have been recovered in the slowly eroding hoodoos, narrow valleys and bone-dry coulees.’
  • 2A lava flow.

    • ‘The late-stage lava coulees and domes are most evolved.’
    • ‘The remaining magma as lava domes and coulees was extruded with some associated subplinian or vulcanian explosive activity.’
    • ‘The bulk of the T2 magma is represented by the lava domes and coulees, which are the most evolved.’


Early 19th century: from French coulée (lava) flow from couler to flow from Latin colare to strain or flow from colum strainer.