• synonyms


noun, plural dis·trib·u·tar·ies.
  1. an outflowing branch of a stream or river, typically found in a delta (opposed to tributary).
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Origin of distributary

First recorded in 1535–45; distribute + -ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for distributary


noun plural -taries
  1. one of several outlet streams draining a river, esp on a delta
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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

distributary in Science


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