[ 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for billabong

British Dictionary definitions for billabong


/ (ˈbɪləˌbɒŋ) /

noun Australian

a backwater channel that forms a lagoon or pool
a branch of a river running to a dead end

Word Origin for billabong

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

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