from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A body of water, such as a creek or small river, that is a tributary of a larger body of water.
  • n. A sluggish stream that meanders through lowlands, marshes, or plantation grounds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A slow-moving, often stagnant creek or river.
  • n. A swamp, a marshy (stagnant) body of water.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An inlet from the Gulf of Mexico, from a lake, or from a large river, sometimes sluggish, sometimes without perceptible movement except from tide and wind.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the southern United States, the outlet of a lake, or one of the several outlets of a river through its delta; a sluggish watercourse.
  • n. An abandoned portion of a river-channel forming a lake or swamp following the general course of the main stream: a special case of “ox-bow lake.” The bayous of the lower Mississippi river are typical.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a swampy arm or slow-moving outlet of a lake (term used mainly in Mississippi and Louisiana)


Louisiana French bayouque, bayou, possibly from Choctaw bayuk.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Cajun French bayou, from Choctaw bayuk ("creek"). (Wiktionary)



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