• A little arroyo running through the Sonoran Desert in Sahuarita, Arizona. (Photo: $1LENCE D00600D/Wikipedia)

Arroyo
(uh-roi-oh)

Definition:
An arroyo is a dry river bed or seasonally active creek. They are usually found in deserts or other arid climates and completely dry up between periods of wet weather.

Origin:
Spanish; akin to Latin arrūgia mine shaft, 1800-1810

Example:
California's Arroyo Seco is a well-known arroyo. Arroyos can also be man-made to distribute water or prevent flooding during heavy rains, such as in Albuquerque, New Mexico where several miles of open-air concrete lined channels drain into the main North Diversion Channel.