con·​tam·​i·​na·​tion | \ kən-ˌta-mə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce contamination (audio) \

Definition of contamination

1 : a process of contaminating : a state of being contaminated

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Examples of contamination in a Sentence

swimming in the lake is banned until the contamination is identified and neutralized

Recent Examples on the Web

For accurate results, just make sure your dog doesn't eat or drink or come into contact with other dogs for two hours before the test to prevent cross-contamination. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "I Tried the Most Popular Dog DNA Tests to Find the Best One," 22 May 2019 Detwiler notes that these kinds of errors increase your risk for cross-contamination. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "Should You Be Washing Chicken Before You Cook It?," 10 Apr. 2019 Product from multiple farms is often bagged in the same facility, which further increases the odds of cross-contamination. Caitlin Dewey,, "Why does E. coli keep getting into our lettuce?," 26 Apr. 2018 This week, Tyson Foods voluntarily recalled three types of frozen chicken strips due to potential foreign matter contamination, specifically pieces of metal. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Nearly 70,000 Pounds of Tyson Chicken Strips Recalled Due to Possible Metal Contamination," 25 Mar. 2019 Our growing appetite for this information comes from a lack of trust in the global supply chain, fueled by revelations about contamination, fraud, animal welfare and safety-inspection lapses. Robyn Metcalfe, WSJ, "The Life Story of Your Supermarket Chicken: Food Tracking Goes High-Tech," 21 Feb. 2019 One way to avoid any contamination is to always wash your hands after using the bathroom and before preparing or consuming food. Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "Everything You Need to Know About Salmonella," 2 May 2019 The real problem is that ship’s electronics, electrical equipment, fixtures and weapons systems are all ruined by saltwater contamination and would need replacing. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Norway’s Ruined Frigate Is Afloat Again and It Doesn't Look Good," 15 Apr. 2019 The appellate body said the panel failed to consider whether the methods of contamination testing proposed by Japan would fully satisfy South Korean protection standards. Kim Tong-hyung And Mari Yamaguchi, The Seattle Times, "WTO upholds South Korean ban on Fukushima seafood," 12 Apr. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for contamination

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for contamination

The first known use of contamination was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for contamination


con·​tam·​i·​na·​tion | \ kən-ˌtam-ə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce contamination (audio) \

Medical Definition of contamination

1 : a process of contaminating : a state of being contaminated
2 : something that contaminates

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