[ef-loo-uh nt]


flowing out or forth.


something that flows out or forth; outflow; effluence.
a stream flowing out of a lake, reservoir, etc.
sewage that has been treated in a septic tank or sewage treatment plant.
sewage or other liquid waste that is discharged into a body of water, etc.

Nearby words

  1. effleurage,
  2. effloresce,
  3. efflorescence,
  4. efflorescent,
  5. effluence,
  6. effluvia,
  7. effluvium,
  8. efflux,
  9. effort,
  10. effort bargain

Origin of effluent

1720–30; < Latin effluent- (stem of effluēns flowing out, present participle of effluere), equivalent to ef- ef- + flu- flow + -ent- -ent

Related formssu·per·ef·flu·ent, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for effluent

British Dictionary definitions for effluent



liquid discharged as waste, as from an industrial plant or sewage works
radioactive waste released from a nuclear power station
a stream that flows out of another body of water
something that flows out or forth


flowing out or forth

Word Origin for effluent

C18: from Latin effluere to run forth, 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

Word Origin and History for effluent



mid-15c., from Latin effluentem (see effluence). As a noun, from 1859; meaning "liquid industrial waste" is from 1930.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for effluent




Flowing out or forth.


A stream flowing out of a body of water.
An outflow or discharge of liquid waste, as from a sewage system, factory, or nuclear plant.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.