con·tam·i·nant | \ kən-ˈta-mə-nənt \

Definition of contaminant 

: something that contaminates

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Examples of contaminant in a Sentence

a filter to remove contaminants from the drinking water

Recent Examples on the Web

The other work includes dredging contaminated sediment from streams and from ponds near mine openings, and digging ditches and berms to keep water from flushing contaminants out of waste piles and into streams. Dan Elliott, The Christian Science Monitor, "EPA announces plan to clean up Colorado mines," 15 June 2018 In general, these types of single-ingredient vitamins and minerals usually check out as free of contaminants and containing the dose claimed on the label. Peter Andrey Smith, Outside Online, "Don't Trust the Label on Your Supplements," 5 July 2018 Chlorine mixing with these contaminants is what makes swimmers’ eyes red, not chlorine in and of itself. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "The CDC Warns of Possible Dangerous Bacteria in Pool Water," 18 May 2018 The water can contain debris and contaminants that are detrimental to your health. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "Fox River, neighborhood flooding reported in and around Elgin," 27 June 2018 The interim plan concentrates on controlling or removing contaminants at 26 sites including campgrounds, mine waste piles, ponds, and rivers. Dan Elliott, The Christian Science Monitor, "EPA announces plan to clean up Colorado mines," 15 June 2018 Kushner’s company applied in 2015 to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Brownfield Cleanup Program for funding to remove contaminants from the land, and it was approved later that year. USA TODAY, "Cozy land deals meant big money for Trump family and friends," 7 June 2018 Along with Hunts Point Market, the Bronx became home to dozens of waste-transfer stations—all of which increased truck traffic and exhaust fumes, as well as air contaminants—that were far removed from the city’s thriving downtown neighborhoods. Sean Patrick Cooper, The New Republic, "Is America Ready for the Next Superstorm?," 4 June 2018 This morning, Pruitt was speaking at a workshop convened to discuss the handling of specific chemical contaminants that have been found in water supplies. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "EPA boots reporters from meeting on chemicals called a PR disaster," 22 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contaminant.' 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 contaminant

1922, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for contaminant

The first known use of contaminant was in 1922

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English Language Learners Definition of contaminant

: something that makes a place or a substance (such as water, air, or food) no longer suitable for use : something that contaminates a place or substance


con·tam·i·nant | \ kən-ˈtam-ə-nənt \

Medical Definition of contaminant 

: something that contaminates

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Comments on contaminant

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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