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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Bay·ou n.; pl. Bayous   An inlet from the Gulf of Mexico, from a lake, or from a large river, sometimes sluggish, sometimes without perceptible movement except from tide and wind. [Southern U. S.]
    A dark slender thread of a bayou moves loiteringly northeastward into a swamp of huge cypresses.   --G. W. Cable.