adulterate

verb
adul·​ter·​ate | \ ə-ˈdəl-tə-ˌrāt How to pronounce adulterate (audio) \
adulterated; adulterating

Definition of adulterate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

adulterate

adjective
adul·​ter·​ate | \ ə-ˈdəl-t(ə-)rət How to pronounce adulterate (audio) \

Definition of adulterate (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from adulterate

Verb

adulterator \ ə-​ˈdəl-​tə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce adulterate (audio) \ noun

Examples of adulterate in a Sentence

Verb The company is accused of adulterating its products with cheap additives. the company was fined for adulterating its “all beef” frankfurters with cereal Adjective the pharmacist was convicted of selling adulterate drugs in order to maximize profits caught red-handed in what he claimed was his first adulterate encounter
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Taking them off the placebo could adulterate trial data and compromise other companies’ vaccine trials if their volunteers drop out to get Pfizer’s vaccine. Rolfe Winkler, WSJ, "Head of FDA Advisory Panel Predicts Approval for Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine," 9 Dec. 2020 On Wednesday, forensic experts are expected to testify about the likely ingestion of certain drugs with date-rape effects by Habboub and Hayes, whose drink Banas is charged with adulterating in 2014, based on analysis of hair samples. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "7 more women describe blackouts after drinking with former Cedarburg restaurant operator Jacob Banas," 25 Feb. 2020 First came soy milk, offered in cafeterias as an alternative with which the lactose-intolerant could adulterate their covfefe. Mary Norris, The New Yorker, "Milk: It Does an Impeachment Good," 23 Jan. 2020 Of the drugs described as being potentially adulterated are skincare and Assured Brand products. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, "FDA Warns Dollar Tree Stores to Stop Offering 'Potentially Unsafe' Over-the-Counter Drugs," 15 Nov. 2019 In the canon of infidelity drama, Harold Pinter’s Betrayal may hold the distinction of being the least … adulterated. Allison Adato, EW.com, "Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Cox, and Zawe Ashton command a smart, stripped down Betrayal," 6 Sep. 2019 The new law says Maine would not consider edibles produced with recreational marijuana adulterated. Washington Post, "Maine governor signs rules to finally allow pot sales," 27 June 2019 Prosecutors charged 47-year-old Conrrado Cruz Perez of Minneapolis with adulterating a substance with bodily fluids. Fox News, "Charges: Rejected man urinated in co-worker's water bottle," 8 Mar. 2018 The test strip, originally designed for the medical profession to test urine, can also be used off-label by heroin and cocaine users who fear their drugs have been adulterated with the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Fentanyl’s New Foe: A Quick Test Strip That Can Prevent Overdoses," 31 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of adulterate

Verb

circa 1526, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

circa 1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adulterate

Verb

borrowed from Latin adulterātus, past participle of adulterāre "to defile by adultery, commit adultery with, mix with another substance, pollute," from ad- ad- + -alterāre, verbal derivative of alter "second, other" — more at alter

Adjective

borrowed from Latin adulterātus — more at adulterate entry 1

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Time Traveler for adulterate

Time Traveler

The first known use of adulterate was circa 1509

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Statistics for adulterate

Cite this Entry

“Adulterate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adulterate. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for adulterate

adulterate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of adulterate

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

adulterate

verb
adul·​ter·​ate | \ ə-ˈdəl-tə-ˌrāt How to pronounce adulterate (audio) \
adulterated; adulterating

Kids Definition of adulterate

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

adulterate

transitive verb
adul·​ter·​ate | \ ə-ˈdəl-tə-ˌrāt How to pronounce adulterate (audio) \
adulterated; adulterating

Medical Definition of adulterate

: 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

Other Words from adulterate

adulterator \ -​ˌrāt-​ər How to pronounce adulterate (audio) \ noun

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adulterate

transitive verb
adul·​ter·​ate | \ ə-ˈdəl-tə-ˌrāt How to pronounce adulterate (audio) \
adulterated; adulterating

Legal Definition of adulterate

: 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.

Other Words from adulterate

adulteration \ ə-​ˌdəl-​tə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce adulterate (audio) \ noun
adulterator \ ə-​ˈdəl-​tə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce adulterate (audio) \ noun

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Comments on adulterate

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