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.

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

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.