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bayou

[bahy-oo, bahy-oh]
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noun, plural bay·ous. Chiefly Lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf States.
  1. a marshy arm, inlet, or outlet of a lake, river, etc., usually sluggish or stagnant.
  2. any of various other often boggy and slow-moving or still bodies of water.

Origin of bayou

1710–20, Americanism; < Louisiana French, said to be < Choctaw bayuk river forming part of a delta
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bayou

bayou

noun
  1. (in the southern US) a sluggish marshy tributary of a lake or river

Word Origin

C18: from Louisiana French, from Choctaw bayuk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bayou

n.

1766, via Louisiana French, from Choctaw bayuk "small stream."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bayou in Science

bayou

[bīōō]
  1. A sluggish, marshy stream connected with a river, lake, or gulf. Bayous are common in the southern United States.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

bayou in Culture

bayou

[(beye-ooh, beye-oh)]

Term used mainly in Louisiana and Mississippi to describe a swampy, slowly moving or stationary body of water that was once part of a lake, river, or gulf.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.