Definition of contaminate
1 a : 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
contaminativeplay \-ˌnā-tiv\ adjective
contaminatorplay \-ˌnā-tər\ noun
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.
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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