[ ploo-vee-uh l ]
/ ˈplu vi əl /


of or relating to rain, especially much rain; rainy.
Geology. occurring through the action of rain.


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.

Origin of pluvial

1650–60; < Latin pluviālis, equivalent to pluvi(a) rain + -ālis -al1

Related forms

in·ter·plu·vi·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pluvial

British Dictionary definitions for pluvial


/ (ˈpluːvɪəl) /


of, characterized by, or due to the action of rain; rainypluvial insurance


geology of or relating to rainfall or precipitation
a climate characterized by persistent heavy rainfall, esp one occurring in unglaciated regions during the Pleistocene epoch

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

Science definitions for pluvial


[ plōōvē-əl ]

Relating to or caused by rain.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.