phy·​to·​re·​me·​di·​a·​tion ˌfī-tə-ri-ˌmē-dē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce phytoremediation (audio)
: the treatment of pollutants or waste (as in contaminated soil or groundwater) by the use of green plants that remove, degrade, or stabilize the undesirable substances (such as toxic metals)
From soil loaded with metal to radionuclide-laden water, researchers hope phytoremediation with an array of species will prove a cheap way to clean man-made messes at mining, nuclear, and industrial sites.Kathryn Sergeant Brown

Examples of phytoremediation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Using plants for bioremediation is known as phytoremediation. Elizabeth Waddington, Treehugger, 19 July 2023 This research may lead to very valuable breakthroughs on the phytoremediation of soils as well as learning which plants resist lead uptake, for example. Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 17 May 2014 This process, which cleans the soil of the contaminant, is called phytoremediation. Joan Oleck, Forbes, 12 Nov. 2021 Elsewhere, phytoremediation is regaining popularity. Wudan Yan, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2020 Another arm of the project taking place at the UVA-Wise campus in southwest Virginia is focused on finding varieties of hemp that could be used to clean up and reclaim abandoned coal mines through a process called phytoremediation. Sarah Rankin, The Seattle Times, 26 Dec. 2017 Called phytoremediation, Pytel said the fast-growing poplar and cottonwood trees, received from the U.S. Forest Service's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, can absorb petroleum in the soil and stabilize it. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, 15 Sep. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'phytoremediation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


phyto- + remediation, probably after bioremediation

First Known Use

1991, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of phytoremediation was in 1991

Dictionary Entries Near phytoremediation

Cite this Entry

“Phytoremediation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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