Definition of mulga in US English:



  • 1A small Australian acacia tree or shrub with grayish foliage, forming dense scrubby growth and yielding brown and yellow timber.

    Acacia aneura, family Leguminosae

    • ‘Much of this carpet of herbs is on shallow gravelly and stony soils, too poor for buffel, or under mulga trees.’
    • ‘Angepena Station is hidden away in the Northern Flinders Ranges in country varying from a parkland appearance to some very hilly country covered by shrubs, native pines, black oak and mulga.’
    • ‘But the gentle slope soon became much steeper as they straddled fallen trunks of mulga and mallee, sidestepped unstable boulders and clambered over perilous rock ridges.’
    • ‘I have enough of them and head into the bush, towards some big mulga trees.’
    • ‘A few metres into this little wood, and it feels like another world, the fans of mulga branches spreading above me, patches of delicate ferns growing between clumps of grass underfoot.’
    • ‘Widgety bushes and mulga were the main fodder trees, but new plants of these species had no chance of getting beyond the seedling stage.’
    • ‘Here the public and shooters hang dead feral cats from an old mulga, and at any time there may be dozens of the stinking carcases dangling like macabre Christmas decorations.’
    • ‘All around us we see southern Australia with mulga trees outside.’
    • ‘The land types are diverse: ranges, some sandhill country, and large mulga stands - some of the largest remaining stands of old growth mulga, according to Mr Schrader.’
    • ‘You see clouds of tiny, smoky blues around the base of mulga trees.’
    • ‘Wood such as mulga, ironwood, redgum and desert oak is used.’
    1. 1.1 An area of scrub or bush dominated by the mulga plant.
      • ‘It runs for about 25 kilometres, but it doesn't run in a square, it sort of runs in stages around this lovely big piece of mulga sand plain that Peter's chosen as the ideal spot.’
      • ‘These are resurrection ferns, like the ones in the mulga wood.’
      • ‘A hundred years ago, Bilbies were common in many habitats throughout Australia, but are now restricted to a few northwestern desert regions and arid mulga and spinafex grasslands.’
      • ‘You can always walk around the spinifex and mulga down there.’
      • ‘It's a cameraman's film and mostly about riding dangerously through mulga, about rounding up scrub bulls, about branding and marking with the mass of Mt Leichhardt rising up in blue splendour beyond.’
      • ‘They walked on in silence after that, blindly stumbling through the patches of thick mulga scrub.’
      • ‘Make no mistake about it; there is an art to driving your huge tyred monster through the swamps, mulga and rain forest.’
    2. 1.2the mulgaAustralian informal The outback.
      • ‘Within a week we were navigating our way through the mulga with great verve and confidence.’
      • ‘The Maverick quiver takes care of all your gear when you are out in the field or in the mulga.’
      • ‘Making camp in the Mulga we drew water from the Bore for showers & washing, settling in for a well deserved day off.’
      • ‘They spent weeks camping out in the mulga.’
      • ‘You can forget about the spinifex country and most of the mulga country.’


Mid 19th century: from Kamilaroi, Yuwaalaraay, and other Aboriginal languages of New South Wales and South Australia.