1

adulterate

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

Definition of adulterate

adulterated; adulterating
transitive verb
: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
  • He was in the same plight as the manufacturer who has to adulterate and misrepresent his product. If he does not, some one else will.
  • —Upton Sinclair

adulterator

play \-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

Recent Examples of adulterate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adulterate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of adulterate

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


2

adulterate

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

Definition of adulterate

1 :being adulterated :spurious
2 :tainted with adultery :adulterous
  • … that incestuous, that adulterate beast …
  • —William Shakespeare

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

Origin and Etymology of adulterate


ADULTERATE Defined for English Language Learners

adulterate

play
verb

Definition of adulterate for English Language Learners

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


ADULTERATE Defined for Kids

adulterate

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

Definition of adulterate for Students

adulterated; adulterating
: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

adulterate

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

medical Definition of adulterate

adulterated; adulterating
: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

play \-ˌrāt-ər\ noun

Law Dictionary

adulterate

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

legal Definition of adulterate

adulterated; adulterating
: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
Note: 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.

adulteration

play \ə-ˌdəl-tə-ˈrā-shən\ noun

adulterator

play \ə-ˈdəl-tə-ˌrā-tər\ noun


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up adulterate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

all at once

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized-drawing-of-woman-pole-vaulting-across-gap-to-get-trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!