AskDefine | Define confluence

Dictionary Definition



1 a place where things merge or flow together (especially rivers); "Pittsburgh is located at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers" [syn: meeting]
2 a flowing together [syn: conflux, merging]
3 a coming together of people [syn: concourse]

User Contributed Dictionary



From confluentia, con- + fluere


  1. The place where two rivers, streams, or other continuously flowing bodies of water meet and become one, especially where a tributary joins a river.
    We encountered an abandoned boat at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
  2. The act of combining which occurs at the place where rivers and the like meet.
    The confluence of the rivers produced a great rush of water.
  3. A convergence or combination of forces, people, or things.
    The confluence of our skills resulted in a successful home renovation project.


Derived terms


point where two rivers or streams meet
convergence or combination

Extensive Definition

Confluence, in geography, describes the meeting of two or more bodies of water. It usually refers to the point where a tributary joins a more major river, called the mainstem, when that major river is also the highest order stream in the drainage basin.
The term is also used to describe the meeting of tidal or other non-riverine bodies of water, such as two canals or a canal and a lake. A one-mile (1.6 km) portion of the Industrial Canal in New Orleans accommodates the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal; therefore those three waterways are confluent there.

Notable confluences

Integer latitudes and longitudes

Confluence also describes a location where integer latitude and integer longitude lines cross. The point in extreme northeastern New Jersey at is such a confluence point. The Degree Confluence Project endeavors to catalog and photograph all such points on the globe.


confluence in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Вусьце
confluence in Belarusian: Вусьце
confluence in Bosnian: Ušće
confluence in Czech: Ústí
confluence in German: Mündung (Gewässer)
confluence in Spanish: Confluencia
confluence in French: Confluent
confluence in Croatian: Ušće
confluence in Hungarian: Torkolat
confluence in Japanese: 合流
confluence in Polish: Ujście rzeki
confluence in Portuguese: Confluência
confluence in Romanian: Confluenţă
confluence in Russian: Устье
confluence in Ukrainian: Гирло річки

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accompaniment, accordance, affluence, afflux, affluxion, agglomeration, agglutination, aggregation, agreement, alliance, approach, articulation, assemblage, assembly, association, asymptote, bond, bottleneck, bracketing, cahoots, call-up, canvass, census, clustering, co-working, coaction, coincidence, collaboration, collection, collectivity, colligation, collision course, collocation, collusion, combination, combined effort, communication, comparison, concatenation, concentralization, concentration, concert, concerted action, concomitance, concordance, concourse, concurrence, conflux, congeries, conglomeration, congregation, congress, conjugation, conjunction, connection, consilience, conspiracy, convergence, converging, cooperation, copulation, corralling, correspondence, coupling, course, crosscurrent, crossing, current, data-gathering, defluxion, downflow, downpour, drift, driftage, flow, flowing, fluency, flux, focalization, focus, funnel, gathering, gush, hookup, hub, inflow, ingathering, intercommunication, intercourse, interlinking, inventory, joinder, joining, jointure, junction, juxtaposition, knotting, liaison, linkage, linking, marriage, meeting, merger, merging, mill run, millrace, mobilization, muster, mutual approach, narrowing gap, onrush, onward course, outflow, pairing, parasitism, race, radius, rodeo, roundup, run, rush, saprophytism, set, simultaneity, spate, splice, spokes, stream, surge, survey, symbiosis, synchronism, synergy, tangent, tide, tie, tie-in, tie-up, trend, undercurrent, undertow, unification, union, united action, water flow, yoking
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