dis·​trib·​u·​tary | \ di-ˈstri-byə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce distributary (audio) , -ˌte-rē\
plural distributaries

Definition of distributary

: a river branch flowing away from the main stream

Examples of distributary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

By the 1950s, scientists noticed the consequences: more water was going down the Atchafalaya River, a distributary of the Mississippi. Boyce Upholt, Time, "The Mississippi River Is Under Control—For Now," 9 May 2019 Delhi gets its water from the Yamuna river, while Kolkata uses water from the Hooghly river, a distributary of the Ganga. Sanjana Venkatesan, Quartz India, "Satellite images show how badly India’s reservoirs dried up," 2 July 2019 In 1831, a pathway was dredged between a distributary of the Mississippi and the Red, leading to the formation of the present Atchafalaya river channel. Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com, "Rising river bottom could switch Mississippi to Atchafalaya riverbed in next mega flood," 12 Dec. 2017 Saline water has long been invading the delta, but because of the drought there is not enough fresh water in the river and its distributaries to dilute the seawater. Jane Perlez, New York Times, "Drought and ‘Rice First’ Policy Imperil Vietnamese Farmers," 28 May 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'distributary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of distributary

1863, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for distributary

The first known use of distributary was in 1863

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formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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