ef·​flu·​vi·​um | \ e-ˈflü-vē-əm How to pronounce effluvium (audio) \
variants: or less commonly effluvia \ e-​ˈflü-​vē-​ə How to pronounce effluvium (audio) \
plural effluvia also effluviums

Definition of effluvium

1 : an invisible emanation especially : an offensive exhalation or smell
2 : a by-product especially in the form of waste

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Examples of effluvium in a Sentence

the effluvia from local sewage treatment plants polluting the river
Recent Examples on the Web Telogen effluvium is technically hair shedding rather than full-on hair loss, SELF explained previously. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, 11 Aug. 2020 The delayed result, a form of diffuse hair loss called telogen effluvium, was causing her hair to fall out in frightening clumps. New York Times, 3 Feb. 2020 But this work—to hold power to account, to safeguard the truth, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, in Finley Peter Dunne’s immortal words—has entered into a fatal bargain with an effluvium that demeans and yet supports it. Greg Jackson, Harper's magazine, 6 Jan. 2020 But, in some cases, your body might shed an excessive amount of hair (telogen effluvium). Korin Miller, SELF, 10 Aug. 2018 Technically, telogen effluvium is actually a form of hair shedding rather than hair loss, the organization says, meaning that your hair is falling out earlier in its cycle than usual, but it will be replaced by new hair. Korin Miller, SELF, 10 Aug. 2018 What’s more likely is that telogen effluvium is at play (again). Jane Chertoff, SELF, 13 July 2018 Abrupt hormone changes can cause sudden hair loss (telogen effluvium) that recovers over about 6 months time. Jane Chertoff, SELF, 13 July 2018 Thyroid problems: Excessive hair loss, or telogen effluvium, can be a sign that your thyroid gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism). Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'effluvium.' 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 effluvium

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for effluvium

Latin effluvium act of flowing out, from effluere

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Time Traveler for effluvium

Time Traveler

The first known use of effluvium was in 1651

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Cite this Entry

“Effluvium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effluvium. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for effluvium


ef·​flu·​vi·​um | \ e-ˈflü-vē-əm How to pronounce effluvium (audio) \
plural effluvia\ -​vē-​ə How to pronounce effluvium (audio) \ or effluviums

Medical Definition of effluvium

: an invisible emanation especially : an offensive exhalation or smell the form effluvia often used with a singular verb

More from Merriam-Webster on effluvium

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for effluvium

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about effluvium


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