bayou

[ bahy-oo, bahy-oh ]
/ ˈbaɪ u, ˈbaɪ oʊ /

noun, plural bay·ous. Chiefly Lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf States.

a marshy arm, inlet, or outlet of a lake, river, etc., usually sluggish or stagnant.
any of various other often boggy and slow-moving or still bodies of water.

Nearby words

  1. bayo,
  2. bayonet,
  3. bayonet hair,
  4. bayonet socket,
  5. bayonne,
  6. bayreuth,
  7. baysmelt,
  8. baytown,
  9. baywood,
  10. bayyan

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. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for bayou

bayou

/ (ˈbaɪjuː) /

noun

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

Word Origin for bayou

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

bayou

n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for bayou

bayou

[ bīōō ]

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.

Culture definitions for bayou

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.