For example, when a river bifurcates into two separate streams of water, and then these two streams rejoin further along to become a single river once more.

Bifurcate itself is not generalized enough for the title purpose because (a) it implies a split into 2 parts, rather than n; and (b) it doesn't suggest anything about rejoining.

Example sentence can be as simple as "the river [term] as it travels along the flat valley", with the meaning as above, though the specific form might vary.

Perhaps branching could provide the n-parts concept, but I'm not sure how to incorporate rejoining in an elegant way. Perhaps also there is some computer science or mathematical term for this idea, since it seems it might be useful in those fields.

  • 1
    There was a question just yesterday asking the same thing except in terms of rivers: english.stackexchange.com/questions/460372/… The term for this for a stream or river is "anastomosing stream/river" or "braided river/stream". However more generally speaking "anastomose" means to come together, so this doesn't encompass the splitting into different parts and then coming together again. – Zebrafish Aug 17 '18 at 5:41
  • Is there any treasure hunt going on? Within a 24hrs we have same question again :) – Ubi hatt Aug 17 '18 at 5:47
  • @ubihatt Yeah, same question, except one about rivers and this one generally. Weird. At OP, I really doubt there's a general term for this in one word. With rivers maybe there's a term because in specialty fields they usually have a term for everything. – Zebrafish Aug 17 '18 at 6:04
  • @Zebrafish :) Yep! OP is looking for more technical term. – Ubi hatt Aug 17 '18 at 7:02


to unify again : to bring (people or things) or to be brought into a unit or a coherent whole after a period of separation
reunifying families that were separated in the war
reunified the children with their families

The re- prefix suggests that whatever parts are unifying were at a previous point joined, but then fractured, then joined together again and lived happily ever after. The End.

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  • +1 Good reasoning about "re-". No esoteric terms needed. :) – Lawrence Aug 17 '18 at 6:33

In the bottom of your description you mentioned a term from mathematics or computer science. Okay! Here you go...the term is:

Converge 1.1 Oxford Dictionary

"Come together from different directions so as eventually to meet."

Until then, the area had been routinely clogged by traffic converging from five directions.

This term is not just limited to Mathematics and Computer Science.

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