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distribute +‎ -ary


distributary (comparative more distributary, superlative most distributary)

  1. That distributes.
    • 1816, Tapping Reeve, The law of baron and femme, of parent and child, of guardian and ward, of master and servant, and of the powers of courts of chancery[1]:
      A posthumous child is as much entitled to a distributary share, under the statute of distributions, as one that is born at the time of the death of its father []
    • 1991, Leslie E. Small, Farmer-Financed Irrigation: The Economics of Reform[2]:
      [] improving the channels in a distributary unit.
    • 2014, Allard W. Martinius, editor, From Depositional Systems to Sedimentary Successions on the Norwegian Continental Margin[3], page 379:
      These deposits are commonly punctuated by metre-scale fining-upward, medium-grained, cross-bedded sandstones, interpreted as terminal distributary channels.


distributary (plural distributaries)

  1. (hydrology) A stream of water (either natural or artificial) that branches off and flows away from a main stream channel.
    Antonym: tributary
    • 1894, Herbert Michael Wilson, Engineering Results of Irrigation Survey, U.S. Government Printing Office, page 270:
      The bed of the distributary is at a slight elevation above that of the main canal, and in the latter is placed an ordinary check regulator controlled by flashboards []
    • 1998, Sediment Behavior of Sangro Distributary, Mirpurkhas Sub-division, Sindh[4], page 6:
      The physical condition of the distributary itself is in bad shape due to poor maintenance over longer periods of time, especially in the head reach.
    • 2001, James R. Penn, Rivers of the World: A Social, Geographical, and Environmental Sourcebook[5], page 115:
      [] stretches of blowing sand and frequent changes in course of its distributaries, does not have the dense population characteristic of other alluvial districts in the Indian subcontinent.