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

Controls on other, regulated pollutants would also capture methane in the pipeline, said Erik Milito of the American Petroleum Institute. Ellen Knickmeyer, chicagotribune.com, "Trump’s EPA proposes loosening Obama-era rules on methane emissions," 29 Aug. 2019 The federal government filed a civil lawsuit against the Quincy in March, alleging that the city violated the Clean Water Act by dumping pollutants such as E. coli onto beaches between 2009 and 2018. Chris Lisinski, BostonGlobe.com, "Water quality woes are common at Mass. beaches, new report says," 13 Aug. 2019 The plant, which would be built at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, would use pure oxygen to reduce pollutants normally associated with coal, said Joshua Schmitt, the SwRI research engineer directing the project. Randy Diamond, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio’s Southwest Research Institute lands $3M to design cleaner coal plant," 12 Aug. 2019 Plastic particles at sea act as magnets for toxic chemicals and organic pollutants. Rowan Jacobsen, Outside Online, "An Ocean Plastics Field Trip for Corporate Executives," 8 Aug. 2019 Transportation also makes up 80 to 90 percent of California’s smog-forming pollutants. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Bill looks to boost California’s rebate for buying an electric vehicle," 5 Aug. 2019 In some parts of the Arctic under busy air routes, these pollutants combined contribute one-fifth of the warming. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Air travel is a huge contributor to climate change. A new global movement wants you to be ashamed to fly.," 1 Aug. 2019 The agency warns that due to smoke from the 6,000-acre Canyonville wildfire, pollutants can cause health problems for children, the elderly and other sensitive groups. oregonlive.com, "Portland metro Saturday weather: a cooler, cloudier weekend," 27 July 2019 All voters should want to eliminate pollutants, promote the use of clean-energy technologies, and protect our nation’s natural resources and beauty. Kayla Bartsch, National Review, "Republicans Take an Important Step Back into the Environmental Debate," 15 July 2019

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

5 Sep 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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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