from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Flowing out or forth.
  • noun Something that flows out or forth, especially.
  • noun A stream flowing out of a body of water.
  • noun An outflow from a sewer or sewage system.
  • noun A discharge of liquid waste, as from a factory or nuclear plant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Flowing out; emanating.
  • noun That which flows out or issues forth.
  • noun Specifically, in geography, a stream that flows out of another stream or out of a lake: as, the Atchafalaya is an effluent of the Mississippi river.
  • noun In mathematics, a covariant of a quantic of degree mn in i variables, the covariant being of degree m and in p variables, where p is the number of permutations that can be obtained by dividing n into i parts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Geog.) A stream that flows out of another stream or lake.
  • adjective Flowing out.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Flowing out; outflowing.
  • noun A stream that flows out, such as from a lake or reservoir; an outflow; effluence.
  • noun Sewage water that has been (partially) treated, and is released into a natural body of water; a flow of any liquid waste.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective that is flowing outward
  • noun water mixed with waste matter


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Latin effluēns, effluent-, present participle of effluere, to flow out : ex-, ex- + fluere, to flow; see bhleu- in Indo-European roots.]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word effluent.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Tee-hee! This word sounds so much like affluent.

    August 20, 2008

  • Some people are both.

    November 12, 2008

  • "alleys stank of effluent" (Mitchell, Cloud Atlas, 048.1)

    January 24, 2010