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[bil-uh-bawng, -bong] /ˈbɪl əˌbɔŋ, -ˌbɒŋ/
noun, Australian.
a branch of a river flowing away from the main stream but leading to no other body of water; a blind or dead-end channel.
a creek bed holding water only in the rainy season; a dried-up watercourse.
a stagnant backwater or slough formed by receding floodwater.
Origin of billabong
1830-40; < Wiradjuri bilabaŋ creek that runs only during the rainy season, equivalent to bila river + baŋ possessive suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for billabong
Historical Examples
  • Does he think we've never a scales on billabong, did ye ask him?

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • No one can say the billabong representative doesn't look fit.

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • "But there never was any union touch about billabong," said Mrs. Brown.

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • But I drove the old buggy away from billabong, and I'll drive home now.

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • And billabong has adopted you, and we're going to see that you make a success of things.

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • From billabong came daily hampers that greatly relieved their labours.

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • My word, wouldn't a fire race across the billabong plains this year!

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • Remember how I landed you into the billabong the other night!

    Dot and the Kangaroo Ethel C. Pedley
  • The long slow journey to billabong homestead was accomplished.

    A Little Bush Maid Mary Grant Bruce
  • He's shaping as well as anyone could expect; but he won't always have billabong at his back.

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
British Dictionary definitions for billabong


noun (Austral)
a backwater channel that forms a lagoon or pool
a branch of a river running to a dead end
Word Origin
C19: from a native Australian language, from billa river + bong dead
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
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Word Origin and History for billabong

Australian, "backwater, stagnant pool," 1865, from Billibang, Aboriginal name of Bell River, from billa "water" + bang, of uncertain meaning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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