con·​tam·​i·​nant | \ kən-ˈta-mə-nənt How to pronounce contaminant (audio) \

Definition of contaminant

: something that contaminates

Examples of contaminant in a Sentence

a filter to remove contaminants from the drinking water
Recent Examples on the Web When chocolate and cannabis are combined, that bodes well for more attention being paid to a dangerous contaminant like cadmium. Joan Oleck, Forbes, 12 Nov. 2021 Misinformation and the manipulation of social networks have emerged as another possible contaminant in the electoral process. Caitlin Hu, CNN, 7 Nov. 2021 Each time the manufacturer may have changed but the song remained the same: some type of contaminant had reached unacceptable levels. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 24 Oct. 2021 As no quality-control test currently exists for detecting rice in beer as a contaminant or allergen, the researchers propose testing for this new chemical. Maddie Bender, Scientific American, 18 Oct. 2021 The city is unsure of the source of any mercury, said Public Utilities Director Laura Briefer, but the contaminant can come from industrial sources or processes. Jordan Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Sep. 2021 One concern about brown rice consumption is levels of arsenic, a contaminant linked to potential health risks, including adverse pregnancy outcomes and certain cancers. Cynthia Sass, Mph,, 20 Oct. 2021 The monkeys at the Mesa breeding facility are drinking well water tainted with perchlorate, a contaminant leached from ponds containing rocket fuel runoff from an adjacent defense contractor. Rob O'dell, USA TODAY, 9 Oct. 2021 Could that be due to exposure in the womb to radiation or other chemical or environmental contaminant in the modern world? Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 7 Sep. 2021

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

History and Etymology for contaminant

contamin(ate) + -ant entry 1

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Time Traveler for contaminant

Time Traveler

The first known use of contaminant was in 1922

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Statistics for contaminant

Last Updated

14 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Contaminant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for contaminant



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 How to pronounce contaminant (audio) \

Medical Definition of contaminant

: something that contaminates

More from Merriam-Webster on contaminant

Nglish: Translation of contaminant for Spanish Speakers


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