pol·​lut·​ant | \ pə-ˈlü-tᵊnt How to pronounce pollutant (audio) \

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

Plus, the mist is anti-pollutant and keeps your skin protected from harmful blue light from cellphones. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Korean Beauty Brand Glow Recipe Just Launched a Face Mist That'll Give You Gorgeous Skin," 26 Feb. 2019 The ocean is awash in tiny plastic particles shed by fleece jackets and other garments, the WSJ’s Saabira Chaudhuri reports, highlighting how new concerns over pollutants are growing as production of polyester and other synthetics expands. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Shrinking Japan’s Fleet; Squeezing the Grocers; Highway Dividing Lines," 8 Mar. 2019 Ironically, historians believe these pollutants sparked the European economy's revival, pulling it out of the deep, depressing chasm around 100 years later. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Identify 536 A.D. as The Absolute Worst Year Ever," 20 Nov. 2018 Scientists hope the oysters will survive and filter sediment and pollutants from the river and create food and habitat for other creatures. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Man-made oyster reef near Key Bridge 'flourishing,' Chesapeake Bay Foundation says," 28 June 2018 The amendments proposed by former President George H.W. Bush in 1989 mandated reductions in certain gas emissions and boosted regulation of toxic pollutants. Lisa Rathke, The Christian Science Monitor, "Pollution regulations decrease acid rain, spur red spruce rebound," 11 July 2018 The World Health Organization estimates that nine out of 10 people worldwide breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Emily Williams, BostonGlobe.com, "BU professor granted almost $1 million to study air pollution," 9 July 2018 The sugar industry, one of the largest producers of phosphorus-laden pollutants in the Everglades, has also worked to influence the governor's appointments to the water management districts and Glades cleanup legislation. Emily L. Mahoney And Mary Ellen Klas, miamiherald, "Who is writing the checks? Here are the Top 5 donors to each candidate for governor," 21 June 2018 Maryland and Delaware officials argued that by judging the power plants on their average pollution outputs, EPA allows them to release unhealthy amounts of pollutants on the days when smog risks are highest. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland officials press EPA to reconsider decision on upwind air pollution, threaten lawsuit," 7 June 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

18 Apr 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 How to pronounce pollutant (audio) \

Kids Definition of pollutant

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


pol·​lut·​ant | \ pə-ˈlüt-ᵊnt How to pronounce pollutant (audio) \

Medical Definition of pollutant

: something that pollutes

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Comments on pollutant

What made you want to look up pollutant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an enemy or opponent

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