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 Josh Cox, the company's Noblesville manger of operations, told the commission mining and gravel operations can lower local groundwater levels and can cause water contamination. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, "Noblesville Plan Commission divided on gravel pit, sends to council with no recommendation," 17 Nov. 2020 Antibiotics Antibiotics are often used in vaccine production to prevent bacterial contamination during manufacturing. Anne P. Kim, The Conversation, "Ingredients in flu vaccine won’t hurt you – two pharmacists explain why," 13 Nov. 2020 And in some cases, airlines have stopped providing them to decrease possible contamination. Lindsay Tigar, CNN Underscored, "What you should buy to stay safe during holiday travel," 12 Nov. 2020 Lilly also has to report any signals of potential contamination that arise, and inform the agency whether a recall is necessary, according to the FDA letter Monday. Anna Edney,, "FDA Puts Conditions on Lilly Covid Drug After Factory Issues," 10 Nov. 2020 Early on, researchers and officials alike suspected that contamination issues could be behind the high failure rate. Rachael Zisk, Popular Science, "The CDC released a COVID-19 test knowing it had a high failure rate," 9 Nov. 2020 Composting pumpkins, in particular, can make a nutrient-rich fertilizer and prevent water contamination. Bill Jones,, "Post-Halloween collections are a smashing success in Southland," 8 Nov. 2020 There was no chance of outside contamination on this dress. Jamie Yuccas, CBS News, "Young murder victim helps solve her own cold case nearly 40 years later," 7 Nov. 2020 Passage of the measure would be a win for residents in the small central Utah county who have raised concerns in recent months about the water contamination, odors and decreased property values that often accompany hog farm projects. Taylor Stevens, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah County voters shoot down change of government idea, Kaysville fiber vote too close to call," 4 Nov. 2020

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

History and Etymology for contamination

Middle English contaminacioun, borrowed from Latin contāminātiōn-, contāminātiō "defilement, pollution," from contāmināre "to defile, pollute" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at contaminate

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Time Traveler for contamination

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for contamination

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contamination.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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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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