Definition of effluent in English:



mass noun
  • Liquid waste or sewage discharged into a river or the sea.

    ‘industrial effluent’
    count noun ‘contamination with trade effluents’
    • ‘If the farm allows effluent into the river, then the fishery suffers due to increased costs of water purification.’
    • ‘It emerged last night that chemically treated human effluent was discharged at the site yesterday afternoon.’
    • ‘Late this season several thousand juvenile salmon died on an upper stretch of the Moy as a result of a discharge of effluent.’
    • ‘Farmers are now aware that silage effluent is highly polluting.’
    • ‘There were also 61 oil spills and 54 leaks of minerals and trade effluent.’
    • ‘This dumping of industrial effluents into the rivers will affect the general health of livestock and human beings dependant on water from these rivers.’
    • ‘But we can't go on trying to deal with effluent and waste and toxins without putting in resources.’
    • ‘The effluent contains a variety of industrial wastes but no estimate of their pollutional load is available.’
    • ‘He said that the company, which admitted one count of discharging effluent, took environmental issues seriously.’
    • ‘Treated effluent is still discharged into Maguires Creek, the Richmond River and the Pacific Ocean.’
    • ‘Ground water is polluted by industrial effluent and human waste.’
    • ‘If effluent enters the river, bacteria use this food to multiply.’
    • ‘We are well aware that to discharge untreated effluent into a water course is illegal and unacceptable.’
    • ‘Pollution of water bodies by industrial effluents and civic waste is a crime on humanity and can no longer be ignored by the enforcing authorities.’
    • ‘Most rivers - or what's left of them - are foul reservoirs of industrial effluents and sewage.’
    • ‘However, there were occasions when because of the poor quality industrial effluents being discharged into the river the water could carry no oxygen and it was impossible for fish to survive.’
    • ‘Something similar happened when pig-farm effluent got into a river in Carolina in the US.’
    • ‘The indiscriminate dumping of industrial effluents and civic waste, in combination with falling water levels have taken their toll.’
    • ‘The agency said there were high levels of nutrients, particularly phosphate and nitrate, which entered the river through sewage effluents and agricultural activities.’
    • ‘Typical point sources of water pollution are manufacturing effluent and municipal waste.’
    waste, liquid waste, sewage, effluvium, outflow, discharge, emission
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the adjective sense ‘flowing out’): from Latin effluent- ‘flowing out’, from the verb effluere (see effluence). The noun dates from the mid 19th century.