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al·​lu·​vi·​al ə-ˈlü-vē-əl How to pronounce alluvial (audio)
: relating to, composed of, or found in alluvium
alluvial soil
alluvial diamonds


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: an alluvial deposit

Examples of alluvial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
But over the past few decades, more and more spectacular and extensive early Buddhist sites have begun to emerge from the region’s rich alluvial soils. William Dalrymple, The New York Review of Books, 31 Aug. 2023 This pottery is made of the alluvial soil that makes the Indo-Gangetic plains so fertile. Ruby Mellen, Washington Post, 15 Aug. 2023 Its being one of the biggest remaining bottomland hardwood forests in the Mississippi alluvial valley meant wildlife viewing would be exceptional. Bob Robinson, Arkansas Online, 19 June 2023 This kind of unintended consequence is most pronounced in wide alluvial valleys, which, when left in their natural state, protect against floods by slowing down potentially damaging waves as well as storing floodwaters. Robin Meadows, Scientific American, 11 Aug. 2021 The researchers concluded that the mystery area was some type of burial chamber partially filled with alluvial material, meaning sand or some other substance deposited by water. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 9 May 2023 The sections ranged from steep, rocky headlands and bluffs to wide, low-lying alluvial valleys where rivers flow into the bay. Robin Meadows, Scientific American, 11 Aug. 2021 The rat is adapted to the alluvial sand of meandering flood plains, rocky channels, grasslands and sage where its biggest long-term threat is habitat fragmentation caused by sand-and-gravel operations, highway construction, suburban tracts and commercial centers. Los Angeles Times, 7 Mar. 2022 Indigenous peoples including the Mojave, Quechan, Chemehuevi and Cocopah thrived along the verdant valley, growing melons, squash, corn and possibly maize in the alluvial deposits, fishing in the river and using the plants for baskets, housing, clothing and other uses., 8 Aug. 2022
Key to that fight is destroying and seizing the costly heavy machinery that’s being used in the operations — most blatantly the diggers and dredges employed in riverside, or alluvial, mining. Jim Wyss and Kyra Gurney, miamiherald, 16 Jan. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alluvial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1771, in the meaning defined above


1816, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of alluvial was in 1771

Dictionary Entries Near alluvial

Cite this Entry

“Alluvial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: relating to, composed of, or found in alluvium

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