noun, plural arroyos.
(chiefly in southwest U.S.) a small steep-sided watercourse or gulch with a nearly flat floor: usually dry except after heavy rains.

1800–10, Americanism; < Spanish; akin to Latin arrūgia mine shaft Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
arroyo (əˈrɔɪəʊ)
n , pl -os
a steep-sided stream bed that is usually dry except after heavy rain
[C19: from Spanish]

Arroyo (əˈrɔɪjəʊ)
Gloria Macapagal. born 1948, Filipino stateswoman; president of the Philippines from 2001; vice-president (1998--2001)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"a watercourse, dry streambed," 1845, a California word, from Amer.Sp., from Sp., "rivulet, small stream," from L. arrugia "shaft or pit in a gold mine," apparently a compound of ad- "to" + ruga "wrinkle."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
arroyo   (ə-roi'ō)  Pronunciation Key 
A small, deep gully or channel of an ephemeral stream. Arroyos usually have relatively flat floors and are flanked by steep sides consisting of unconsolidated sediments. They are usually dry except after heavy rainfall.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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