[ dih-strib-yoo-ter-ee ]
/ dɪˈstrɪb yʊˌtɛr i /

noun, plural dis·trib·u·tar·ies.

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

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


/ (dɪˈstrɪbjʊtərɪ, -trɪ) /

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


[ dĭ-strĭbyə-tĕr′ē ]

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.