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verb, adul·ter·ate \ə-ˈdəl-tə-ˌrāt\

Simple Definition of adulterate

  • : to make (something, such as a food or drink) impure or weaker by adding something of poor quality

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of adulterate


  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to corrupt, debase, or make impure by the addition of a foreign or inferior substance or element; especially :  to prepare for sale by replacing more valuable with less valuable or inert ingredients

adulteratorplay \-ˌrā-tər\ noun

Examples of adulterate in a sentence

  1. The company is accused of adulterating its products with cheap additives.

  2. <the company was fined for adulterating its all beef frankfurters with cereal>

Origin of adulterate

Latin adulteratus, past participle of adulterare, from ad- + alter other — more at else

First Known Use: 1531

Rhymes with adulterate

abbreviate, abominate, accelerate, accentuate, accommodate, acculturate, accumulate, adjudicate, affiliate, agglomerate, alienate, alleviate, alliterate, amalgamate, ameliorate, amyl nitrate, annihilate, annunciate, anticipate, apostolate, appreciate, appropriate, approximate, arpeggiate, articulate, asphyxiate, assassinate, asseverate, assimilate, associate, at any rate, attenuate, authenticate, barbiturate, bicarbonate, calumniate, capacitate, capitulate, catholicate, certificate, coagulate, coelenterate, collaborate, commemorate, commiserate, communicate, compassionate, concatenate, conciliate, confabulate, confederate, conglomerate, congratulate, consolidate, contaminate, cooperate, coordinate, corroborate, deactivate, debilitate, decapitate, decelerate, decerebrate, deconcentrate, deconsecrate, decorticate, decrepitate, de-escalate, defibrinate, defoliate, degenerate, deliberate, delineate, demodulate, denominate, depopulate, depreciate, deracinate, deregulate, desegregate, desiderate, detoxicate, devaluate, diaconate, dilapidate, discriminate, disintegrate, disseminate, dissimulate, dissociate, domesticate, effectuate, ejaculate, elaborate, electroplate, eliminate, elucidate, emaciate, emancipate, emasculate, encapsulate, enumerate, enunciate, episcopate, equivocate, eradicate, etiolate, evacuate, evaluate, evaporate, eventuate, eviscerate, exacerbate, exaggerate, exasperate, excited state, excogitate, excoriate, exfoliate, exhilarate, exonerate, expatiate, expatriate, expectorate, expostulate, expropriate, extenuate, exterminate, extrapolate, facilitate, felicitate, fish or cut bait, garrison state, gesticulate, habilitate, habituate, hallucinate, humiliate, hydrogenate, hypothecate, illuminate, impersonate, inactivate, inaugurate, incarcerate, incinerate, incorporate, incriminate, indoctrinate, inebriate, infatuate, infuriate, ingratiate, ingurgitate, initiate, inoculate, inseminate, insinuate, instantiate, intercalate, interpolate, interrelate, interrogate, intimidate, intoxicate, invalidate, investigate, invigorate, irradiate, Italianate, Korea Strait, lanceolate, legitimate, luxuriate, mandarinate, manipulate, matriarchate, matriculate, Merthiolate, necessitate, negotiate, noncandidate, obliterate, officiate, Orange Free State, orientate, originate, oxygenate, participate, particulate, patriarchate, patriciate, perambulate, peregrinate, perpetuate, pontificate, precipitate, predestinate, predominate, prefabricate, premeditate, preponderate, prevaricate, procrastinate, prognosticate, proliferate, propitiate, proportionate, quadruplicate, quintuplicate, reciprocate, recriminate, recuperate, redecorate, reduplicate, reeducate, refrigerate, regenerate, regurgitate, reincarnate, reintegrate, reiterate, rejuvenate, remunerate, repatriate, repudiate, resuscitate, retaliate, reticulate, revaluate, reverberate, scholasticate, second estate, self-flagellate, self-immolate, self-pollinate, seventy-eight, sextuplicate, Singapore Strait, sophisticate, subordinate, substantiate, syllabicate, tergiversate, transliterate, triangulate, vanity plate, variegate, vaticinate, vituperate, vociferate



adjective adul·ter·ate \ə-ˈdəl-t(ə-)rət\

Definition of adulterate

  1. 1 :  being adulterated :  spurious

  2. 2 :  tainted with adultery :  adulterous

Examples of adulterate in a sentence

  1. <the pharmacist was convicted of selling adulterate drugs in order to maximize profits>

  2. <caught red-handed in what he claimed was his first adulterate encounter>


First Known Use of adulterate


ADULTERATE Defined for Kids


verb adul·ter·ate \ə-ˈdəl-tə-ˌrāt\

Definition of adulterate for Students


  1. :  to make impure or weaker by adding something different or of poorer quality <The company adulterated its orange juice with water and sugar.>

Medical Dictionary


transitive verb adul·ter·ate \ə-ˈdəl-tə-ˌrāt\

Medical Definition of adulterate

adulterated; adulterating

  1. :  to corrupt, debase, or make impure by the addition of a foreign or inferior substance; especially :  to prepare for sale by replacing more valuable with less valuable or inert ingredients

adulterator \-ˌrāt-ər\play noun

Law Dictionary


transitive verb adul·ter·ate \ə-ˈdəl-tə-ˌrāt\

Legal Definition of adulterate


  1. :  to corrupt, debase, or make impure by the addition of a foreign or inferior substance or element; especially :  to prepare for sale by omitting a valuable ingredient or by replacing more valuable ingredients with less valuable or inert and usually harmful ingredients or with ingredients different from those claimed

adulteration \ə-ˌdəl-tə-ˈrā-shən\ play noun
adulterator \ə-ˈdəl-tə-ˌrā-tər\ play noun

Additional Notes on adulterate

Under the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, a device such as a piece of medical equipment that is defective in some way is considered adulterated.

Seen and Heard

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to manage or play awkwardly

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