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[floo-vee-uh l] /ˈflu vi əl/
of or relating to a river:
a meandering fluvial contour.
produced by or found in a river:
fluvial plants.
Origin of fluvial
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin fluviālis, equivalent to fluvi(us) river (derivative of fluere to flow) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
transfluvial, adjective
unfluvial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fluvial
Historical Examples
  • What, then, would be the fluvial force required to move the Welcome Nugget?

    Getting Gold J. C. F. Johnson
  • It is the generosity of a fluvial Robin Hood, who steals from the wealthy to confer benefactions on the poor.

    The Spell of Switzerland Nathan Haskell Dole
  • The most extensive are the fluvial deposits accumulated as valley fill throughout the entire Andean realm.

  • The son of Helvetia discovered the precious metal in grains, and nuggets, interspersed with the drift of a fluvial deposit.

  • These consisted of two piers forming a seaward prolongation of the fluvial channel, begun in 1858 and completed in 1861.

  • At various points tributary gorges, the graves of fluvial gods who had perished long ago, opened into the main cañon.


    John William De Forest
  • The fluvial wound in the side dripped thickly, inundating the thigh with blood that was like congealing mulberry juice.

    L-bas J. K. Huysmans
  • There are two fountains upon the Place, dedicated, one to Maritime, the other to fluvial navigation.

    Paris: With Pen and Pencil David W. Bartlett
  • Pearls are the product of certain species of shell-fish, both marine and fluvial.

    The Parables of Our Lord William Arnot
  • From fluvial glades that thro my cantons run, From those rich mounds that mask the falling sun.

    The Columbiad Joel Barlow
British Dictionary definitions for fluvial


of, relating to, or occurring in a river: fluvial deposits
Word Origin
C14: from Latin fluviālis, from fluvius river, from fluere to flow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fluvial

"pertaining to a river," late 14c., from Latin fluvialis "of a river," from fluvius "river," related to fluere "to flow" (see flow (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fluvial in Science
  1. Relating to or inhabiting a river or stream.

  2. Produced by the action of a river or stream.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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