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[ef-loo-uh nt] /ˈɛf lu ənt/
flowing out or forth.
something that flows out or forth; outflow; effluence.
a stream flowing out of a lake, reservoir, etc.
sewage that has been treated in a septic tank or sewage treatment plant.
sewage or other liquid waste that is discharged into a body of water, etc.
Origin of effluent
1720-30; < Latin effluent- (stem of effluēns flowing out, present participle of effluere), equivalent to ef- ef- + flu- flow + -ent- -ent
Related forms
supereffluent, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for effluent
  • Sludge is the dirt that remains when sewage is cleaned into effluent.
  • Hundreds of nearby factories were closed in an effort to reduce the effluent that causes algae to grow.
  • Use or dispose of the cleansed wastewater, called effluent.
  • Plus, its nitrogen-rich effluent is ideal plant fertilizer.
  • The trick the researchers use to boost the cleansing action of ultraviolet is to add a light-activated catalyst to the effluent.
  • One brings pure, life-giving water, while the other takes away putrid effluent.
  • The effluent from the skimmer did not, nor will the effluent from this skimmer.
  • They are using urban effluent to generate clean energy, improving life not only for humans but also for fish.
  • The effluent can also release pests and diseases such as sea lice and viruses that thrive when shrimp or fish are packed together.
  • effluent guidelines are technology-based regulations to control industrial wastewater discharges.
British Dictionary definitions for effluent


liquid discharged as waste, as from an industrial plant or sewage works
radioactive waste released from a nuclear power station
a stream that flows out of another body of water
something that flows out or forth
flowing out or forth
Word Origin
C18: from Latin effluere to run forth, from fluere to flow
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 effluent

mid-15c., from Latin effluentem (see effluence). As a noun, from 1859; meaning "liquid industrial waste" is from 1930.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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effluent in Science
Adjective  Flowing out or forth.

  1. A stream flowing out of a body of water.

  2. An outflow or discharge of liquid waste, as from a sewage system, factory, or nuclear plant.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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