Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

effluent

play
adjective ef·flu·ent \-ənt\

Definition of effluent

  1. :  flowing out :  emanating, outgoing <an effluent river>



Did You Know?

Effluent comes from the Latin verb effluere, "to flow out". In an older meaning, an effluent was a stream flowing out of a river or lake. But nowadays effluent almost always means wastes that pour into our water and air. Liquid factory waste, smoke, and raw sewage can all be called effluents. An effluent filter keeps treated waste flowing out of a septic tank from clogging up its drainage pipes.

Origin and Etymology of effluent

Latin effluent-, effluens, present participle of effluere to flow out, from ex- + fluere to flow — more at fluid


First Known Use: 1726


2

effluent

noun ef·flu·ent

Simple Definition of effluent

  • : liquid (such as sewage or industrial chemicals) that is released as waste

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of effluent

  1. :  something that flows out: as a :  an outflowing branch of a main stream or lake b :  waste material (as smoke, liquid industrial refuse, or sewage) discharged into the environment especially when serving as a pollutant

Examples of effluent in a sentence

  1. The factory has been accused of discharging effluent into the river.



1859

First Known Use of effluent

1859



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up effluent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

at a gallop

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommodate acommadate accommodate accomodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ