Definition of contaminate
1a : to soil, stain, corrupt, or infect by contact or association Bacteria contaminated the wound.b : to make inferior or impure by admixture iron contaminated with phosphorus
2 : to make unfit for use by the introduction of unwholesome or undesirable elements water contaminated by sewage
contaminativeplay \kən-ˈta-mə-ˌnā-tiv\ adjective
contaminatorplay \kən-ˈta-mə-ˌnā-tər\ noun
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Examples of contaminate in a Sentence
Be careful not to allow bacteria to contaminate the wound.
Don't touch the microchip or the oil on your hands will contaminate it.
Make sure the white paint is not contaminated by any of the other colors.
Recent Examples of contaminate from the Web
Food and water bowls can be contaminated with the bacteria, too.
From fuel leakage to pesticides from a nearby nursery, the soil was badly contaminated.
Across the nation, once-pristine waterways have become contaminated by farm effluent.
Eating seafood contaminated with domoic acid can cause people to experience nausea and vomiting.
The cleaning stage is a critical one for the Cuyahoga, where sediment from the heavily industrialized river was judged too contaminated for reuse, according to The Plain Dealer.
Less than a month ago, the World Health Organization reported nearly 800 cases and at least 34 deaths from cholera, which causes fatal dehydration from water contaminated by feces.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not have any evidence to suggest additional Jalapeno Cheese Sauce is contaminated.
Is the story: Monsanto contaminates a crop, (by pollen?)
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contaminate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of contaminate
Middle English, from Latin contaminatus, past participle of contaminare; akin to Latin contingere to have contact with — more at contingent
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of contaminate
CONTAMINATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of contaminate for English Language Learners
: to make (something) dangerous, dirty, or impure by adding something harmful or undesirable to it
CONTAMINATE Defined for Kids
Definition of contaminate for Students
1 : to soil, stain, or infect by contact or association The wound was contaminated by bacteria.
2 : to make unfit for use by adding something harmful or unpleasant The water is contaminated with chemicals.
Medical Definition of contaminate
1: to soil, stain, or infect by contact or association bacteria contaminated the wound
2: to make unfit for use by the introduction of unwholesome or undesirable elements water contaminated by sewage
Seen and Heard
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