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alluvium

[uh-loo-vee-uh m] /əˈlu vi əm/
noun, plural alluviums, alluvia
[uh-loo-vee-uh] /əˈlu vi ə/ (Show IPA)
1.
a deposit of sand, mud, etc., formed by flowing water.
2.
the sedimentary matter deposited thus within recent times, especially in the valleys of large rivers.
Origin
1655-1665
1655-65; < Latin, noun use of neuter of alluvius washed against, equivalent to alluv- (see alluvion) + -ius, -ium adj. suffix; see -ium
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for alluvium
  • Quaternary alluvium is juxtaposed against bedrock along these faults.
British Dictionary definitions for alluvium

alluvium

/əˈluːvɪəm/
noun (pl) -viums, -via (-vɪə)
1.
a fine-grained fertile soil consisting of mud, silt, and sand deposited by flowing water on flood plains, in river beds, and in estuaries
Word Origin
C17: from Latin; see alluvion
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
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Word Origin and History for alluvium
n.

"matter deposited by flowing water," 1660s, from Medieval Latin alluvium, neuter of alluvius "washed against," from Latin alluere "wash against," from ad- "to, against" (see ad-) + -luere, comb. form of lavere "to wash" (see lave).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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alluvium in Science
alluvium
  (ə-l'vē-əm)   
Plural alluviums or alluvia
Sand, silt, clay, gravel, or other matter deposited by flowing water, as in a riverbed, floodplain, delta, or alluvial fan. Alluvium is generally considered a young deposit in terms of geologic time.

alluvial adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for alluvium

material deposited by rivers. It is usually most extensively developed in the lower part of the course of a river, forming floodplains and deltas, but may be deposited at any point where the river overflows its banks or where the velocity of a river is checked-for example, where it runs into a lake

Learn more about alluvium with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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