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See more synonyms for reflux on Thesaurus.com
  1. a flowing back; ebb.
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Origin of reflux

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Medieval Latin word refluxus. See re-, flux
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for reflux

wane, sweep, abatement, decrease, flagging, decay, waning, shrinkage, lessening, slackening, degeneration, sinking, depreciation, diminution, retreat, subsidence, drop, recession, deterioration, withdrawal

Examples from the Web for reflux

Historical Examples of reflux

  • Flux and reflux, the fire and the water, the water and the fire!

    Dreamers of the Ghetto

    I. Zangwill

  • An old word, signifying the reflux of the waves by the force of the wind.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • From it and to it, in endless flux and reflux, the life blood goes.

    Looking Backward

    Edward Bellamy

  • It tends to make and to break fortunes, by the flux and reflux of paper.

  • At Kulnah,62 indications of flow and reflux of the tide were evident.

British Dictionary definitions for reflux


  1. chem to boil or be boiled in a vessel attached to a condenser, so that the vapour condenses and flows back into the vessel
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  1. chem
    1. an act of refluxing
    2. (as modifier)a reflux condenser
  2. the act or an instance of flowing back; ebb
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Word Origin for reflux

C15: from Medieval Latin refluxus, from Latin refluere to flow back
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 reflux


early 15c., "a flowing back (of the sea, etc.)," from Medieval Latin refluxus, from Latin re- "back, again" (see re-) + fluxus "a flowing" (see flux). Digestive sense is recorded from 1937.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

reflux in Medicine


  1. A flowing back.
  2. The process of refluxing.
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  1. To boil a liquid in a vessel attached to a condenser so that the vapors continuously condense for reboiling.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.