de·​con·​tam·​i·​nate | \ ˌdē-kən-ˈta-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce decontaminate (audio) \
decontaminated; decontaminating; decontaminates

Definition of decontaminate

transitive verb

: to rid of contamination (such as radioactive material)

Other Words from decontaminate

decontamination \ ˌdē-​kən-​ˌta-​mə-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce decontaminate (audio) \ noun
decontaminator \ ˌdē-​kən-​ˈta-​mə-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce decontaminate (audio) \ noun

Examples of decontaminate in a Sentence

Special workers were called in to decontaminate the area after the oil spill.
Recent Examples on the Web Nearby, two workers wearing face shields, protective aprons and booties wiped down the temperature sensor that everyone entering the hotel must pass through after stations to decontaminate their luggage and hands. Nathan Fenno, Los Angeles Times, 19 Feb. 2022 Jenkins and other harm reduction advocates worry that spreading claims that fentanyl can kill you just be touching it, or that hazmat suits are needed to decontaminate, spreads stigma around opioids and makes intervention less likely in the future. Seamus Mcavoy,, 21 Jan. 2022 The other two students were later released, as students and faculty were required to decontaminate their shoes before leaving in case they had been exposed to the drug. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 16 Jan. 2022 The Sport and Medical Science Academy where a student recently overdosed will remain closed on Tuesday while authorities continue to test the building for fentanyl traces and continue to decontaminate, according to the district. Staff Report,, 17 Jan. 2022 In 2020, the Department of Homeland Security even offered some tips on using your Instant Pot to decontaminate certain masks. Chris Morris, Fortune, 13 Jan. 2022 The jail also was closed temporarily so a hazmat team could decontaminate the area, prosecutors say. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 29 Oct. 2021 Work on securing the cathedral was temporarily paused during the coronavirus pandemic last year and work was carried out to decontaminate the area of lead before work resumed in June 2020. Joseph Ataman, CNN, 18 Sep. 2021 Lab officials approved a $50,000 contract for BioClean, a remediation vendor, to decontaminate the space. Lewis Kamb, Star Tribune, 31 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decontaminate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of decontaminate

1936, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of decontaminate was in 1936

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Cite this Entry

“Decontaminate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for decontaminate


transitive verb
de·​con·​tam·​i·​nate | \ ˌdē-kən-ˈtam-ə-ˌnāt How to pronounce decontaminate (audio) \
decontaminated; decontaminating

Medical Definition of decontaminate

: to rid of contamination (as radioactive material)

Other Words from decontaminate

decontamination \ -​ˌtam-​ə-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce decontaminate (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on decontaminate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for decontaminate

Britannica English: Translation of decontaminate for Arabic Speakers


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