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From Latin effluvium (an outlet), from effluō (flow out or away), from ex (out of, from) + fluō (flow).


  • IPA(key): /ɪˈfluːvi.əm/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːviəm
  • Hyphenation: ef‧flu‧vi‧um


effluvium (countable and uncountable, plural effluvia or effluviums)

  1. A gaseous or vaporous emission, especially a foul-smelling one.
    • 1835, William Gilmore Simms, The Partisan, Harper, Chapter XV, page 188:
      She was now bending over a huge light wood blaze, with a pipe of rude structure and no small dimensions in her mouth, from which the occasional puff went forth, filling the apartment with the unpleasant effluvia of the vilest leaf-tobacco.
    • 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, →OCLC:
      It was the mere effluvium of the flame, the subtle ether that it cast off as it passed, working on us, and making us feel strong as giants and swift as eagles.
    • 1906, O. Henry, The Furnished Room:
      And he breathed the breath of the house—a dank savour rather than a smell—a cold, musty effluvium as from underground vaults mingled with the reeking exhalations of linoleum and mildewed and rotten woodwork.
  2. A condition causing the shedding of hair.
    • 2000, Dr. Otto Braun-Falco et al., “Diseases of hair”, in Dermatology, →ISBN, page 1136:
      Reversible hair loss or effluvium occurs following either endogenous or exogenous damage to anagen hair follicles [] .

Derived terms[edit]




From effluō (flow out or away) +‎ -ium, from ex (out of, from) + fluō (flow).



effluvium n (genitive effluviī or effluvī); second declension

  1. The act of flowing out; discharge of liquid, outlet, efflux.


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative effluvium effluvia
Genitive effluviī
Dative effluviō effluviīs
Accusative effluvium effluvia
Ablative effluviō effluviīs
Vocative effluvium effluvia

1Found in older Latin (until the Augustan Age).


Related terms[edit]


  • Catalan: efluvi
  • English: effluvium
  • French: effluve
  • Italian: effluvio
  • Portuguese: eflúvio
  • Spanish: efluvio


  • effluvium”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • effluvium”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • effluvium in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette