pluvial

adjective
plu·​vi·​al | \ ˈplü-vē-əl How to pronounce pluvial (audio) \

Definition of pluvial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to rain
b : characterized by abundant rain
2 of a geologic change : resulting from the action of rain

pluvial

noun

Definition of pluvial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a prolonged period of wet climate

Did you know?

Adjective

In the early 17th century, clerics began wearing long cloaks known as "pluvials" for protection against the rain during processions. The name of the cloak is based on the Latin word for "rain": "pluvia." By the mid-17th century, "pluvial" was also being used as an adjective meaning "of or relating to rain," as in "pluvial water." Later, in the 19th century, it made a splash in the geologic field as a word describing epochs having relatively high average rainfall and things caused or formed by rain, like "pluvial erosion" or "pluvial lakes."

Examples of pluvial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Swiss Re, for instance, last year started considering pluvial—that is, heavy rainfall, similar to the recent European floods—flood zones when assessing risks. Julie Steinberg, WSJ, 22 July 2021

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

First Known Use of pluvial

Adjective

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1929, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pluvial

Adjective

Latin pluvialis, from pluvia rain, from feminine of pluvius rainy, from pluere to rain — more at flow

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Time Traveler for pluvial

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The first known use of pluvial was in 1651

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Dictionary Entries Near pluvial

pluvi-

pluvial

pluvialine

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Cite this Entry

“Pluvial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pluvial. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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