verb pol·lute \pə-ˈlüt\

: to make (land, water, air, etc.) dirty and not safe or suitable to use


Full Definition of POLLUTE

transitive verb
a :  to make ceremonially or morally impure :  defile
b :  debase 1 <using language to deceive or mislead pollutes language — Linda C. Lederman>
a :  to make physically impure or unclean :  befoul, dirty
b :  to contaminate (an environment) especially with man-made waste
pol·lut·er noun
pol·lut·ive \-ˈlü-tiv\ adjective

Examples of POLLUTE

  1. Miles of beaches were polluted by the oil spill.
  2. Car exhaust pollutes the air.

Origin of POLLUTE

Middle English, from Latin pollutus, past participle of polluere, from por- (akin to Latin per through) + -luere (akin to Latin lutum mud, Greek lyma dirt, defilement) — more at for
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of POLLUTE

contaminate, taint, pollute, defile mean to make impure or unclean. contaminate implies intrusion of or contact with dirt or foulness from an outside source <water contaminated by industrial wastes>. taint stresses the loss of purity or cleanliness that follows contamination <tainted meat> <a politician's tainted reputation>. pollute, sometimes interchangeable with contaminate, distinctively may imply that the process which begins with contamination is complete and that what was pure or clean has been made foul, poisoned, or filthy <the polluted waters of the river>. defile implies befouling of what could or should have been kept clean and pure or held sacred and commonly suggests violation or desecration <defile a hero's memory with slanderous innuendo>.
POLLUTER Defined for Kids


verb pol·lute \pə-ˈlüt\

Definition of POLLUTE for Kids

:  to spoil or make impure especially with waste made by humans <Factories pollute the stream.>
pol·lut·er noun
Medical Dictionary


transitive verb pol·lute \pə-ˈlüt\

Medical Definition of POLLUTE

:  to make physically impure or unclean
:  to contaminate (an environment) especially with man-made waste
pol·lut·er noun
pol·lut·ive \-ˈlüt-iv\ adjective


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