bil·​la·​bong ˈbi-lə-ˌbȯŋ How to pronounce billabong (audio)
: a blind channel leading out from a river
: a usually dry streambed that is filled seasonally
Australia : a backwater forming a stagnant pool

Examples of billabong in a Sentence

taking a break from our trek through the outback, we bathed our tired feet in the still waters of a billabong
Recent Examples on the Web Sonia Namarnyilk layered three stencils to print complex patterns of mermaid-like water spirits, their fluid, bright orange undulations interspersed with playful turtles and rippling billabong plants. Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2022 Fifteen million years ago, a river carved through the jungle, leaving an oxbow lake (known as a billabong in Australia) in its wake at McGraths Flat. New York Times, 7 Jan. 2022 As iron-rich runoff from nearby basalt mountains seeped into the billabong, the pool’s low pH caused the iron to precipitate and encase the organic material. New York Times, 7 Jan. 2022 The plants and creatures were fossilized when iron-rich groundwater drained into a billabong, or water hole. Katie Hunt, CNN, 7 Jan. 2022 Recreation in the summer shrinks to barbecues, swimming in the billabong, and drinking stubbies, or bottles of beer, on Big Red under the stars. Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, New York Times, 1 Aug. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'billabong.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Wiradhuri (Australian aboriginal language of central New South Wales) bilabaŋ

First Known Use

1861, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of billabong was in 1861

Dictionary Entries Near billabong

Cite this Entry

“Billabong.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

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