ETYM North Am. Indian bayuk, in French spelling bayouc, bayouque.
(American) marshy branch of river, lake or bay; slow-flowing stream.
A swampy arm or slow-moving outlet of a lake (term used mainly in Mississippi and Louisiana).
In the southern US, an oxbow lake or marshy offshoot of a river.
Bayous may be formed, as in the lower Mississippi, by a river flowing in wide curves or meanders in flat country, and then cutting a straight course across them in times of flood, leaving loops of isolated water behind.