Definition of bayou in English:



  • (in the southern US) a marshy outlet of a lake or river.

    • ‘Altogether, including its associated maze of bayous and cypress swamps, the lake covers fifty square miles.’
    • ‘Creeks, sloughs, bayous, and swamps, including a large cypress swamp at the base of Crowley's Ridge, ran around the town.’
    • ‘The rediscovery has galvanized efforts to save the Big Woods of Arkansas, 550,000 acres of bayous, bottomland forests and oxbow lakes.’
    • ‘Virtually all of his submissions were taken from the bayou country in southern Louisiana in foothold traps by fur trappers.’
    • ‘But the terrain is difficult, threaded with bayous and creeks, frequently flooded, and overridden with dense foliage and impenetrable undergrowth.’
    • ‘Conversely, the back lakes, sloughs and bayous are reasonably protected, almost certain to hold pockets of calm, clear water.’
    • ‘Alabama's Gulf Coast extends over 32 miles of beaches along the Gulf of Mexico and inland areas of live oaks and pines, freshwater lakes, rivers, bayous, and coves, all showing an abundance of birds.’
    • ‘Redfish, especially, stay in the marshes and bayous all year.’
    • ‘Rustic, self-sufficient country dwellers, Cajuns lived along the bayous and swamps of Louisiana for more than 200 years.’
    • ‘The water in those waterways - whether a stream, river, bayou, or even a lake or reservoir built astride a navigable waterway - belongs to the State of Texas and is held in trust for the public.’
    • ‘Louisiana is known for its bayous and marshlands.’
    • ‘Settling among the isolated bayous of southern Louisiana, Acadians would become Cajuns.’
    • ‘The gates would also make it possible to restore freshwater flows to bayous that have been cut off from the main river.’
    • ‘All water in Texas rivers, streams, bayous, reservoirs and other waterways is considered public water and available for legal use by anyone.’
    • ‘Although some Cajuns stayed on the rivers and bayous or in the swamps, many others headed west to the prairies where they settled not in lines but in small, dispersed coves.’
    • ‘But you will most likely find the exclusions section of your policy doesn't cover losses resulting from surface water, overflowing streams or bayous, waves, tidal water and the like.’
    • ‘The bayous and marshland of southern Louisiana host one of the largest agglomerations of industry in North America.’
    • ‘Northward, they prefer clear, weedy, glacial lakes - southward, they prefer weedy bayous.’
    • ‘How much do you know about the South: the forests of the southern Appalachians, the swamps and bayous, the barrier islands, keys, and coral reefs?’
    • ‘In bayous and in cool rainforests, large lichens known as ‘old man's beard’ may often be seen hanging from the branches of trees.’
    marsh, marshland, swamp, swampland, sump, mire, quagmire, quag, morass, slough, fen, fenland, wetland, carr
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Mid 18th century: from Louisiana French, from Choctaw bayuk.