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[ih-floo-vee-uh m] /ɪˈflu vi əm/
noun, plural effluvia
[ih-floo-vee-uh] /ɪˈflu vi ə/ (Show IPA),
a slight or invisible exhalation or vapor, especially one that is disagreeable or noxious.
Origin of effluvium
1640-50; < Latin, equivalent to ef- ef- + fluv-, base of fluere to flow (see effluent) + -ium -ium
Related forms
effluvial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for effluvium
Historical Examples
  • He could perceive the effluvium borne from the hateful insects: there was no longer cause to doubt.

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
  • Some people give forth an effluvium, which is more visible than that of others.

  • If there remains the least effluvium of the fox the hound will detect it.

  • I am inclined to think, that this effluvium is not altogether an imaginary phenomenon.

  • Moreover, the effluvium arising from so many rapidly decomposing carcasses was, of itself, a sufficient deterrent.

  • The effluvium is visible under other conditions, which are worth noting.

  • There is an optima distance for the realisation of this effluvium.

  • Dorothy buried her face in the roses to get rid of the effluvium of such vulgarity.

    The Vanity Girl Compton Mackenzie
  • We can also compare it with the effluvium which emanates from electrified bodies.

    Mysterious Psychic Forces Camille Flammarion
  • This word is effluvium in the singular, and effluvia in the plural.

    Conversation Andrew P. Peabody
British Dictionary definitions for effluvium


noun (pl) -via (-vɪə), -viums
an unpleasant smell or exhalation, as of gaseous waste or decaying matter
Derived Forms
effluvial, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: a flowing out; see effluent
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 effluvium

1640s, from Latin effluvium "a flowing out," from effluere (see effluence).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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effluvium in Medicine

effluvium ef·flu·vi·um (ĭ-flōō'vē-əm)
n. pl. ef·flu·vi·ums or ef·flu·vi·a (-vē-ə)

  1. A shedding, especially of hair.

  2. An exhalation, especially one of bad odor or injurious influence. No longer in technical use.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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