AskDefine | Define brazos

Dictionary Definition

Brazos n : a river that rises in Mexico and flows across Texas into the Gulf of Mexico [syn: Brazos River]

Extensive Definition

The Brazos River, called the Rio de los Brazos de Dios by early Spanish explorers, which can be translated as "The River of the Arms of God," is the 11th longest river in the United States at 2060 km (1280 miles) from its source of Blackwater Draw, Curry County, New Mexico to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico with a 116,000 km² (44,800 sq mi) drainage basin.
The Brazos proper begins at the confluence of its Salt Fork and Double Mountain Fork (which rises west of Lubbock and passes through the city) flowing 840 miles through the middle of Texas. Its main tributaries are the Clear Fork of the Brazos, which passes by Abilene and joins the main river near Graham; Bosque River; Little River; Yegua Creek; and Navasota River. Initially running east towards Dallas-Fort Worth, the Brazos turns south, passing through Waco, further south to near Calvert, Texas then past Bryan and College Station, then through Richmond, Texas in Fort Bend County, and into the Gulf of Mexico in the marshes just south of Freeport.
It is unclear when it was first named by European explorers, since it was often confused with the Colorado River not far to the south, but it was certainly seen by La Salle. Later Spanish accounts call it Los Brazos de Dios (the arms of God), for which name there were several different explanations, all involving it being the first water to be found by desperately thirsty parties.
While the river was important for navigation before the American Civil War, it is primarily important today as a source of water for power and irrigation. The water is administered by the Brazos River Authority.
The river also features prominently in a number of prison songs, because at one time it ran past nearly every prison in Texas.

Cultural References

The Brazos river is mentioned in the Old Crow Medicine Show song "Take 'em away".

References

brazos in German: Brazos River
brazos in Esperanto: Brazos (rivero)
brazos in French: Brazos
brazos in Lithuanian: Breizosas
brazos in Polish: Brazos
brazos in Portuguese: Rio Brazos
brazos in Slovenian: Brazos
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