noun, plural dis·trib·u·tar·ies.

an outflowing branch of a stream or river, typically found in a delta (opposed to tributary).

Nearby words

  1. distressed area,
  2. distressedly,
  3. distressful,
  4. distressfully,
  5. distressing,
  6. distribute,
  7. distributed,
  8. distributed array processor,
  9. distributed data processing,
  10. distributed logic

Origin of distributary

First recorded in 1535–45; distribute + -ary

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for distributary


noun plural -taries

one of several outlet streams draining a river, esp on a delta
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

Science definitions for distributary



A branch of a river that flows away from the main stream.
One of the channels in a braided stream.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.