• synonyms


[ploo-vee-uh l]
See more synonyms for pluvial on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or relating to rain, especially much rain; rainy.
  2. Geology. occurring through the action of rain.
Show More
  1. Geology. a rainy period formerly regarded as coeval with a glacial age, but now recognized as episodic and, in the tropics, as characteristic of interglacial ages.
Show More

Origin of pluvial

1650–60; < Latin pluviālis, equivalent to pluvi(a) rain + -ālis -al1
Related formsin·ter·plu·vi·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for pluvial

moist, damp, stormy, wet, hyetal, pluvial, pluvious, showery

Examples from the Web for pluvial

Historical Examples of pluvial

  • And this tete-a-tete decorated with flowers; and this pluvial cope in this case.

    Cosmopolis, Complete

    Paul Bourget

  • During the pluvial periods when hydrosere-loving shrews populated the Great Basin, that region may have been a treeless grassland.

  • It has been called the Pluvial or Lacustrine Age, the rain or pond period.

  • The pluvial autumn wind came sweeping along between the rows of houses.

    The Song of Songs

    Hermann Sudermann

  • From the Pluvial period to the present the valley has been the scene of frequent volcanic disturbances.

British Dictionary definitions for pluvial


  1. of, characterized by, or due to the action of rain; rainypluvial insurance
Show More
  1. geology of or relating to rainfall or precipitation
  2. a climate characterized by persistent heavy rainfall, esp one occurring in unglaciated regions during the Pleistocene epoch
Show More

Word Origin for pluvial

C17: from Latin pluviālis rainy, from pluvia rain
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 pluvial


1650s, "pertaining to rain," from French pluvial (12c.), from Latin pluvialis "pertaining to rain, rainy, rain-bringing," from (aqua) pluvia "rain (water)," from fem. of pluvius "rainy," from plovere "to rain," from PIE root *pleu- "to flow, to swim" (cf. Sanskrit plavate "navigates, swims;" Greek plynein "to wash," plein "to navigate," ploein "to float, swim," plotos "floating, navigable;" Armenian luanam "I wash;" Old English flowan "to flow;" Old Church Slavonic plovo "to flow, navigate;" Lithuanian pilu, pilti "to pour out," plauju, plauti "to swim, rinse").

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pluvial in Science


  1. Relating to or caused by rain.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.