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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.
Contemporary Examples

Most folks call them crayfish, but in the bayou, they are crawfish.
Secrets of Creole and Cajun Food Mary Goodbody February 16, 2010

But Hillstomp is the real deal, as legit as anything you will find nowadays down on the bayou.
The Best Albums of 2014 Ted Gioia December 12, 2014

DeWeese has wanted BP to pay a cash bond to ensure the company remediates the site and the bayou once it ceases operations.
Cautious Optimism In the Gulf Rick Outzen July 15, 2010

All the moves, that is, except managing his state properly—at least according to bayou voters.
Is Jindal the Least Popular Guv? David Freedlander, Brandy Zadrozny February 24, 2014

Instead, bayou, Israel’s hedge-fund group, continued to flounder and the deception only grew.
This Week’s Hot Reads: July 2, 2012 Mythili Rao July 1, 2012

Historical Examples

Remaining with his sons a few days, he again took the boat for bayou Sara, where he landed in the middle of the night.
Audubon and his Journals, Volume I (of 2) Maria R. Audubon

He was asleep; had gone to sleep calling her “Maman” and babbling of wild-fowl on the bayou.
The Long Roll Mary Johnston

The levee on the opposite side of the bayou might shelter sharpshooters, but not a column.
Miss Ravenel’s conversion from secession to loyalty J. W. de Forest

The house had floated out of a bayou, I found, which was the reason we did not see it sooner.
Up the River Oliver Optic

Little or no current is met with, unless when the canoe passes over the bed of a bayou.
Audubon and his Journals, Vol. 2 Maria R. Audubon

(in the southern US) a sluggish marshy tributary of a lake or river

1766, via Louisiana French, from Choctaw bayuk “small stream.”
A sluggish, marshy stream connected with a river, lake, or gulf. Bayous are common in the southern United States.
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.


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