from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Western U.S. A deep gulch or ravine with sloping sides, often dry in summer.
- n. Louisiana & Southern Mississippi A streambed, often dry according to the season.
- n. Louisiana & Southern Mississippi A small stream, bayou, or canal.
- n. Upper Midwest A valley with hills on either side.
- n. A stream of molten lava.
- n. A sheet of solidified lava.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A stream.
- n. A lava flow.
- n. A deep gulch or ravine, frequently dry in summer.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A stream.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A dry ravine or gulch; a channel worn by running water in times of excessive rainfall or by the sudden melting of the snow.
- n. A flow: used principally, by some geologists, of lava-flows.
I wondered about the word coulee in the old song: "... they feed in the coulees and water in the draws ..."
The cowpunchers pays 'em an afternoon call, an 'suggests that the air outside the coulee is a lot healthier for sheep -- an' sheepmen -- an 'that onless they makes up their minds to depart, an' to make that departure a record-breaker for speed, they'll make their relatives sure a heap mournful.
"Now, this coulee, which is the scene of these here operations, is so located that there's only one way out.
I think the longest shot I've ever taken was about 250 yards (across a deep coulee) I got the mule deer buck and filled my tag.
This year I took an offhand shot at a standing mule deer doe in Montana, and missed completely, about 200 yards (another coulee, terrain prevented any kind of a rest).
She and others believe improving the coulee would prevent a wall of water from rushing downstream.
The coulee was running higher, the current sweeping along the crown of his skull, startling him, his eyes opening wide.
His face was contorted, the water in the coulee flowing thick with mud and dead vegetation through the broken windows, touching the top of his head.
Some of the damage done by Hurricane Rita was still visible: concrete foundations in empty fields, an automobile wedged upside down in a coulee, the wreckage of homes bulldozed in piles as high as small pyramids, and the tangled bones of livestock that had drowned by the tens of thousands, sometimes on rooftops or inside the second stories of farmhouses.
I could see the coulee that I had raced down and hidden inside.