pol·lut·ant | \pə-ˈlü-tᵊnt \

Definition of pollutant 

: something that pollutes

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of pollutant in a Sentence

filtered the pollutants out of the water

Recent Examples on the Web

Low-level ozone is an atmospheric pollutant that forms when gases released by vehicles or industry react with sunlight. Laura Mcknight, NOLA.com, "Air quality alert continues on Thursday in New Orleans," 9 May 2018 Ozone is a summer pollutant and is created when heat and light interact with nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin wants break from Trump administration on ozone rules in advance of Foxconn development," 13 Mar. 2018 When the case reached the high court, the justices narrowly ruled that greenhouse gases were indeed pollutants. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "How the New Supreme Court Could Halt Climate Action," 12 July 2018 All those air pollutants, those neurotoxic substances have disappeared, today. Alex Park, Houston Chronicle, "Air pollution poses health risk to Houstonians, study finds," 2 July 2018 That means more endocrine disruptors in the water and more pollutants in the ocean. Ellen Airhart, WIRED, "China Won’t Solve the World’s Plastics Problem Any More," 20 June 2018 Her advice is to stick to twice-a-day cleansing—once in the morning to create a fresh palette for sunscreen and makeup, and once at night to rid the skin of makeup and environmental pollutants from the day. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "9 Habits That Could Be Making Your Oily Skin Even Oilier," 15 June 2018 The haphazard method of incineration generated numerous pollutants, including carbon monoxide and dioxin—the same chemical compound found in Agent Orange, the dangerous defoliant during the Vietnam War. Perry Chiaramonte, Fox News, "Former burn pit inspector says warnings were largely ignored by Pentagon officials during Iraq War," 7 June 2018 Staff at the facility can infuse ozone into the water supply in an attempt to destroy microorganisms and degrade organic pollutants, such as cyanotoxins. Molly Harbarger, OregonLive.com, "Wilsonville water safe to drink after found free of cyanotoxins," 4 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.

See More

First Known Use of pollutant

1892, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pollutant

Dictionary Entries near pollutant


poll tax






Statistics for pollutant

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pollutant

The first known use of pollutant was in 1892

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!