Affluent vs. effluent

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Affluent describes something or someone has having a lot of money. It can also mean something is fluid or flowing in a large quantity, either literally or figuratively. A third definition lists it as a stream.

A person who is wealthy is an affluent, and as a group they are affluents. Its derivative is affluently.

Effluent is the liquid sewage that is released as waste. Effluent is still listed in the dictionary as an adjective meaning flowing out, but the link to chemicals has become so common, a user would risk that connotation.


Pupils from the most affluent areas are nearly 10 times more likely to win a place at a leading university than those from the poorest, a new study has revealed. [Daily Mail]

Low socio-economic students are unlikely to have as many opportunities to read in this way, as their more affluent peers. [Brisbane Times]

“It’s always remarkable to me how much affluents spend in a category that’s pretty discretionary,” said Stephen Kraus, chief insights officer for the Audience Measurement Group of Ipsos MediaCT, referring to travel. Mr. Kraus spoke on Thursday in Midtown Manhattan, presenting the results of the 2014 Ipsos Affluent Survey USA, formerly known as the Mendelsohn Affluent Survey. [NY Times]

A mecca for the affluently athletic, you’ll see SUVs topped with kayaks or Thule boxes heading towards the Gatineau Hills, across the Ottawa River, which can be seen from the Westboro streets, and calls these urban residents to outdoor adventure. [Ottawa At Home]

In its attempt to bridge the demand and supply gap, the water utility will be conducting a workshop on the use of treated effluents for government departments on Wednesday. [The Hindu]

Among the most urgent problems: sewage pipes that have been spewing raw effluent for weeks, a lack of clean water and severe power shortages. [CNN]