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 Family members were evacuated around 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 27 from a home where the carbon monoxide detector was going off and registering very high levels of the airborne contaminant. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Firefighters fumed after locating origin of invisible odor in home: Moreland Hills Police Blotter," 3 Oct. 2020 There are hundreds of purifiers on the market that can filter virtually every type of contaminant out of the air in your house. Popular Science, "Breathe easier during wildfires with a DIY air purifier," 27 Sep. 2020 The agency recently pulled back on regulating perchlorate, a water contaminant tied to fetal brain damage, and last year opted not to ban asbestos over the objections of agency scientists. Lisa Friedman, New York Times, "E.P.A. Rejects Its Own Findings That a Pesticide Harms Children’s Brains," 23 Sep. 2020 Bacteria from Earth could present a false negative for life on Mars or act as a contaminant on Mars. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Bacteria from Earth can survive in space and could endure the trip to Mars, according to new study," 26 Aug. 2020 Such yeast can lend interesting character to beer, but for most mainstream beer styles it is considered a contaminant. Josh Noel,, "Chicago’s Hopewell Brewing recalls beers with risk of rupturing cans," 12 Aug. 2020 Bringing in this air dilutes any contaminant in a building, whether a virus or a something else, and reduces the exposure of anyone inside. Shelly Miller, The Conversation, "How to use ventilation and air filtration to prevent the spread of coronavirus indoors," 10 Aug. 2020 Use this do-it-yourself test kit to assess your home's drinking water for lead, a harmful and unsafe contaminant that can significantly damage health, especially in young children and pets. Good Housekeeping, "GH Seal Spotlight: Safe Home DIY Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit," 9 July 2020 Last week, California’s Water Resources Control Board became the nation’s first government agency to define microplastics for water regulation, a step toward monitoring the contaminant in the state’s rivers, lakes and bays. Kurtis Alexander,, "Plastic particles are raining from the sky — just another front for a pervasive pollutant," 23 June 2020

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 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contaminant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for contaminant


How to pronounce contaminant (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for contaminant

Nglish: Translation of contaminant for Spanish Speakers

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