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



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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. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for bayou

/ (ˈbaɪjuː) /


(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

Scientific definitions for 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.

Cultural definitions for 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.
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