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

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

These new networks are designed for M2M and edge architectures, making them perfect for industrial purposes, from trawling marine habitats for gaseous contaminants to monitoring the operation of shipping networks, railways, and oil rigs. Popular Mechanics, "The Invisible Battle for America’s Airwaves," 17 June 2019 Additional samples have been collected by federal officials, and local officials are enlisting a third-party group to further test the area for contaminants. Max Londberg,, "Health official: Planned study will review cancer rates near Portsmouth uranium plant," 5 June 2019 There, the waste is heated in aerated piles, returned to humus, tested for contaminants and sold to the public for $23 a cubic yard. Mike Klingaman,, "How a Columbia gardener turns his tiny plot into a full-fledged feast," 4 June 2019 Indeed, a study by marine biologists from Newcastle University in the UK, published in the Royal Society Open Science in February, found that contaminants had reached all six of the deepest trenches in the Pacific Rim. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "On World Oceans Day, the seas are awash in plastic pollution," 8 June 2019 Some clerics and political leaders encouraged boycotting immunization, citing contaminants that could reduce the Muslim population and mistrust of the government. Shobana Shankar, Quartz Africa, "What the United States could learn from Nigeria about taking on anti-vaxxers," 7 June 2019 Those challenges include issues in agriculture, industry, addressing contaminants, infrastructure, food systems, transportation and more. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'The Silicon Valley of freshwater': UW System aims high, but is the money there?," 6 June 2019 The chemical contaminant PFAs is emerging as a big problem in Michigan. Ellen Knickmeyer, John Flesher And Michael Casey, Detroit Free Press, "FDA: Sampling finds toxic nonstick PFAS compounds in some food," 18 Apr. 2019 Artificial ingredients, synthetic hormones, and potential contaminants could make conception less likely and may even be harmful to a potential fetus. Suzannah Weiss, Glamour, "9 Foods to Avoid If You're Trying to Get Pregnant," 17 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for contaminant

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce contaminant (audio) \

Medical Definition of contaminant

: something that contaminates

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More from Merriam-Webster on contaminant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contaminant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for contaminant

Spanish Central: Translation of contaminant

Nglish: Translation of contaminant for Spanish Speakers

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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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