Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.


n. pl. ef·flu·vi·a (-vē-ə) or ef·flu·vi·ums
1. A usually invisible emanation or exhalation, as of vapor or gas.
a. A byproduct or residue; waste.
b. The odorous fumes given off by waste or decaying matter.
3. An impalpable emanation; an aura.

[Latin, from effluere, to flow out; see effluent.]

ef·flu′vi·al adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
-from effluvial theories of electricity and magnetism to theories of the electromagnetic ether and contemporary electromagnetism
The aftermath of Europeanization and the continuing struggle for civil rights ripple through the work of later writers such as Eva Bourke and Vona Groarke, who are apt to take Boland's knowledge "That the Science of Cartography is Limited" as an established fact and to proceed in the more ambivalent, amphibious mode of Ni Chuilleanain's effluvial flows, "aware of truth/like the tide helplessly rising and falling in one place." In this edition, we drift with the mermaids of Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill's The Fifty-Minute Mermaid and Catriona O'Reilly's "The Sea Cabinet"--hybrid creatures torn between two worlds, past and present.
As if this is heralding desiderata and not desert encroachment; as if we're talking cheeseburgers and not the effluvial p.p.m.
"Toole's Proboscis: Some Effluvial Concerns in The Neon Bible." Mississippi Quarterly 47.2 (1994): 215-31.