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effluent

adjective ef·flu·ent \ ˈe-ˌflü-ənt ; e-ˈflü- , ə- \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of effluent

: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


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effluent

noun

Definition of effluent

:something that flows out: such as
a :an outflowing branch of a main stream or lake
b :waste material (such 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.

Recent Examples of effluent from the Web

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

First Known Use of effluent

1859


EFFLUENT Defined for English Language Learners

effluent

noun

Definition of effluent for English Language Learners

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



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