1. Western US A deep gulch or ravine with sloping sides, often dry in summer.
2. Louisiana & Southern Mississippi
a. A streambed, often dry according to the season.
b. A small stream, bayou, or canal.
3. Upper Midwest A valley with hills on either side.
a. A stream of molten lava.
b. A sheet of solidified lava.
[Canadian French coulée, from French, flow, from couler, to flow, from Latin cōlāre, to filter, from cōlum, sieve.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.