bay·​ou | \ ˈbī-(ˌ)ü How to pronounce bayou (audio) , -(ˌ)ō \

Definition of bayou

1 : a creek, secondary watercourse, or minor river that is tributary to another body of water
2 : any of various usually marshy or sluggish bodies of water

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Examples of bayou in a Sentence

a small creek that is the bayou of a larger stream
Recent Examples on the Web In the evenings, Buckle and his crew drank beer on the top deck, and tossed pizza slices to alligators in the bayou. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "Thirty-six Thousand Feet," 10 May 2020 According to Acevedo, Knox and the pilot were responding to a report of bodies in a bayou when the helicopter crashed near an apartment building in north Houston. Caroline Linton, CBS News, "Houston helicopter crash kills police officer who was son of city council member," 2 May 2020 The pilots were responding to a call about a report of bodies in the bayou at about 2 a.m. local time, Acevedo said. Alta Spells And Jay Croft, CNN, "Houston police helicopter crashes. 1 pilot dies, another in critical condition," 2 May 2020 Two people surrendered, said HPD officer Christopher Bruce, and another two tried to swim down the bayou. Houston Chronicle, "Two HPD chases end with one car in bayou, another between 2 houses," 19 Mar. 2020 What’s left is buried in mud under water in what has been described as a bayou near Twelve Mile Island. al, "New facility to house Clotilda artifacts in Africatown," 10 Mar. 2020 The Louisiana State University quarterback won in a record-breaking landslide, bringing the honor back to the bayou for the first time in 60 years. Sheridan Hendrix,, "Joe Burrow’s Heisman speech goes viral, and cash donations to Athens, Ohio, food pantry soar," 16 Dec. 2019 One city employee drowned and six members of a family that included four Pasadena ISD students died after a van fleeing floodwaters slid into a Houston bayou. Carissa D. Lamkahouan, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena residents warned to be alert in ‘very active time’ of storm season," 26 Sep. 2019 As many as 13,500 runners will descend on downtown Sunday morning to run the 48th annual Chevron Houston Marathon, a 26.2-mile course that weaves between skyscrapers, potholes and bayou greenery. Gwendolyn Wu, Houston Chronicle, "Thousands rush downtown for Chevron Houston Marathon," 19 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bayou.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bayou

1763, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bayou

borrowed from Louisiana French, earlier bayouque, perhaps borrowed from early Choctaw *bayok, whence Choctaw bo·k "creek, river"

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Time Traveler for bayou

Time Traveler

The first known use of bayou was in 1763

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Statistics for bayou

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bayou.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for bayou


How to pronounce bayou (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bayou

: an area of water in the southern U.S. in which the water moves very slowly and is filled with many plants


bay·​ou | \ ˈbī-ü How to pronounce bayou (audio) , \

Kids Definition of bayou

: a body of water (as a creek) that flows slowly through marshy land

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More from Merriam-Webster on bayou

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bayou

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bayou

Spanish Central: Translation of bayou

Nglish: Translation of bayou for Spanish Speakers

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