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

Public health physician Ann Thomas says investigators don't yet know whether the illnesses are caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or something such as the device itself. CBS News, "Oregon death from lung illness may be linked to vaping, officials say," 4 Sep. 2019 The sudden onset of these mysterious illnesses and the patients' severe and distinctive symptoms have led investigators to focus on contaminants, rather than standard vaping products that have been in wide use for many years. Author: Lena H. Sun, Laurie Mcginley, Anchorage Daily News, "As vaping-related lung illnesses spike, investigators eye contaminants," 30 Aug. 2019 The chemical composition of plastics is different, some of those component materials are contaminants, and that means polluting emissions when processed. Lee Roop |, al, "’Work with us, have patience’ says Huntsville’s new recycling program," 2 Aug. 2019 Millions of tons of heavy metals and chemical contaminants, along with thousands of containers of radioactive waste, were purposely thrown into the ocean. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "Marine pollution, explained," 2 Aug. 2019 They are designed to filter out these mineral contaminants, not biological ones. Dan Sweeney,, "Why do we have to boil water anyway?," 19 July 2019 Request batch testing to make sure there are no traces of contaminants, toxins, heavy metals, etc. Better Health Store, Detroit Free Press, "A 101 guide to understanding CBD," 26 June 2019 The contaminants reached to Newark Bay and other waterways, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has designated the area a Superfund site. Gretchen Morgenson, WSJ, "Agent Orange’s Other Legacy—a $12 Billion Cleanup and a Fight Over Who Pays," 3 Dec. 2018 Those checks include verifying that the carcasses are free of disease and contaminants and that the factory is following proper sanitation practices. Suzy Khimm, NBC News, "Tyson wants fewer government inspectors in one of its beef plants. Food safety advocates are raising alarms.," 14 Aug. 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

History and Etymology for contaminant

contamin(ate) + -ant entry 1

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Statistics for contaminant

Last Updated

21 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


to spread over or through

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