noun, plural distributaries.
an outflowing branch of a stream or river, typically found in a delta (opposed to tributary ).

1535–45; distribute + -ary

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World English Dictionary
distributary (dɪˈstrɪbjʊtərɪ, -trɪ)
n , pl -taries
one of several outlet streams draining a river, esp on a delta

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
distributary   (dĭ-strĭb'yə-těr'ē)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A branch of a river that flows away from the main stream.

  2. One of the channels in a braided stream.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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Example sentences
Note the exquisite distributary pattern coming out of the creek mouth.
Internally the pillows are fed via a distributary system of interconnected channels.
The project includes constructing terraces, dredging distributary channels, and planting vegetation on the terraces.
They show up in deltaic deposits where a given delta distributary is stranded or abandoned.
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