Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[bil-uh-bawng, -bong] /ˈbɪl əˌbɔŋ, -ˌbɒŋ/
noun, Australian
a branch of a river flowing away from the main stream but leading to no other body of water; a blind or dead-end channel.
a creek bed holding water only in the rainy season; a dried-up watercourse.
a stagnant backwater or slough formed by receding floodwater.
Origin of billabong
1830-40; < Wiradjuri bilabaŋ creek that runs only during the rainy season, equivalent to bila river + baŋ possessive suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for billabong
Historical Examples
  • He's shaping as well as anyone could expect; but he won't always have billabong at his back.

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • "But there never was any union touch about billabong," said Mrs. Brown.

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • The long slow journey to billabong homestead was accomplished.

    A Little Bush Maid Mary Grant Bruce
  • But I drove the old buggy away from billabong, and I'll drive home now.

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • Only, motors and billabong don't go hand in hand—we've always stuck to horses, haven't we, Mr. Jim?

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • And billabong has adopted you, and we're going to see that you make a success of things.

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • Mattresses, air pillows, nourishment—she'd thought of everything, and the wagon was all ready to start when I got to billabong.

    A Little Bush Maid Mary Grant Bruce
  • From billabong came daily hampers that greatly relieved their labours.

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • I thought you'd sing anthems on the very word billabong all through the voyage, especially in your bath.

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
  • My word, wouldn't a fire race across the billabong plains this year!

    Back To Billabong Mary Grant Bruce
British Dictionary definitions for billabong


noun (Austral)
a backwater channel that forms a lagoon or pool
a branch of a river running to a dead end
Word Origin
C19: from a native Australian language, from billa river + bong dead
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for billabong

Australian, "backwater, stagnant pool," 1865, from Billibang, Aboriginal name of Bell River, from billa "water" + bang, of uncertain meaning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for billabong

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for billabong

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for billabong