• synonyms


[ih-floo-vee-uh m]
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noun, plural ef·flu·vi·a [ih-floo-vee-uh] /ɪˈflu vi ə/, ef·flu·vi·ums.
  1. a slight or invisible exhalation or vapor, especially one that is disagreeable or noxious.
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Origin of effluvium

1640–50; < Latin, equivalent to ef- ef- + fluv-, base of fluere to flow (see effluent) + -ium -ium
Related formsef·flu·vi·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for effluvium

Historical Examples

  • I am inclined to think, that this effluvium is not altogether an imaginary phenomenon.

    Metapsychical Phenomena

    J. Maxwell

  • Some people give forth an effluvium, which is more visible than that of others.

  • There is an optima distance for the realisation of this effluvium.

  • The effluvium is visible under other conditions, which are worth noting.

  • Some consider also that we inhale the effluvium arising from it, which has the like effect.

British Dictionary definitions for effluvium


noun plural -via (-vɪə) or -viums
  1. an unpleasant smell or exhalation, as of gaseous waste or decaying matter
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Derived Formseffluvial, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin: a flowing out; see effluent
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 effluvium


1640s, from Latin effluvium "a flowing out," from effluere (see effluence).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

effluvium in Medicine


n. pl. ef•flu•vi•ums
  1. A shedding, especially of hair.
  2. An exhalation, especially one of bad odor or injurious influence. No longer in technical use.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.