pol·​lut·​ant | \ pə-ˈlü-tᵊnt \

Definition of pollutant

: something that pollutes

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Examples of pollutant in a Sentence

filtered the pollutants out of the water

Recent Examples on the Web

Reducing pollutant sources is a surefire way to improve air quality. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "Do Air Purifiers Actually Work?," 17 Dec. 2018 To break that down further: Your skin barrier keeps pollutants out and the good stuff in. Sarah Wu, Glamour, "This Drugstore Baby Product Keeps My Skin Moisturized All Winter Long," 13 Dec. 2018 At the same time his federal regulators plan to tighten emission limits on pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and small particles. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Business’s Climate Challenge: Getting Customers to Pay," 5 Dec. 2018 While conducting the study, researchers discovered lead pollutants in the ice, created by the surge of volcanic activity. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Identify 536 A.D. as The Absolute Worst Year Ever," 20 Nov. 2018 The lack of accurate historical data suggested many potential pollutants went unnoticed. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Booming postindustrial neighborhoods often overlook polluted past," 9 Oct. 2018 The upshot is, the user can take any one of these policies and slide it up and down from zero to very strong and instantly see the effects on CO2, on a dozen other pollutants, and on cash flow. David Roberts, Vox, "Climate change policy can be overwhelming. Here’s a guide to the policies that work.," 30 Nov. 2018 Like those of several other pollutants, nitrogen-oxide emissions have fallen significantly in the U.S. in recent years, down by half in just a little more than a decade, EPA figures show. Erica E. Phillips, WSJ, "EPA Targets Trucking Industry for New Air Pollution Rules," 13 Nov. 2018 Allergens, pollutants, and pet dander, can lead to health issues, and a simple solution is using an air purifier. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Air Purifier for a Breath of Fresh Air," 16 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pollutant.' 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 pollutant

1892, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near pollutant


poll tax






Statistics for pollutant

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pollutant

The first known use of pollutant was in 1892

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More Definitions for pollutant



English Language Learners Definition of pollutant

: a substance that makes land, water, air, etc., dirty and not safe or suitable to use : something that causes pollution


pol·​lut·​ant | \ pə-ˈlü-tᵊnt \

Kids Definition of pollutant

: a substance that makes something (as air or water) impure and often unsafe


pol·​lut·​ant | \ pə-ˈlüt-ᵊnt \

Medical Definition of pollutant

: something that pollutes

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Comments on pollutant

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a complex dispute or argument

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