con·​tam·​i·​na·​tion | \ kən-ˌta-mə-ˈnā-shən \

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

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Silicon can also show abrasive dirt contamination, which causes poor internal wear. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "For Motor Oil, How Old Is Too Old?," 6 Dec. 2018 These changes will negatively affect the caribou, fish, birds and other wildlife directly through habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation, industrial disturbance and contamination, during the life of the mines and for centuries thereafter… . Anchorage Daily News, "Village of Kotzebue opposes Ambler road," 16 Apr. 2018 In some cases where test results showed evidence of contamination, water utilities have stepped in to provide clean water. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "New reports: Contaminants from coal ash at levels 40 times above safe drinking water standards," 28 Mar. 2018 The company says its technology produces drinkable water out of vapors in the air, and the EPA is seeking to test how useful the technology would be during shortages and contaminations, the agency said. Timothy Puko, WSJ, "Sheldon Adelson Facilitated EPA Connection for Israeli Firm," 27 Mar. 2018 The state Environment Department is overseeing the Air Force’s investigation of the contamination at Cannon. Susan Montoya Bryan, The Seattle Times, "New Mexico concerned about contamination at US air base," 16 Oct. 2018 Jason Gould, identified as the jail administrator at the time of the water contamination. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Lawsuit: Flint water crisis hit jail inmates especially hard," 26 June 2018 Experts who reviewed details of the transaction said they were struck by the high purchase price, given the level of contamination on the property. USA TODAY, "Cozy land deals meant big money for Trump family and friends," 7 June 2018 Nearly one-third of latrines have been dug close to the wells that supply drinking water, creating an acute risk of contamination and outbreaks of diseases, such as cholera. Shashank Bengali,, "Rohingya Muslims who escaped the Myanmar army now brace for a threat they can't outrun: Rain," 30 May 2018

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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Last Updated

28 Jan 2019

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

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con·​tam·​i·​na·​tion | \ kən-ˌtam-ə-ˈnā-shən \

Medical Definition of contamination

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

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a servile follower or underling

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