pollute

verb
pol·​lute | \ pə-ˈlüt How to pronounce pollute (audio) \
polluted; polluting

Definition of pollute

transitive verb

1a : to make ceremonially or morally impure : defile
b : debase sense 1 using language to deceive or mislead pollutes language— Linda C. Lederman
2a : to make physically impure or unclean : befoul, dirty
b : to contaminate (an environment) especially with man-made waste

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Other Words from pollute

polluter noun
pollutive \ pə-​ˈlü-​tiv How to pronounce pollutive (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for pollute

Synonyms

befoul, contaminate, defile, foul, poison, taint

Antonyms

decontaminate, purify

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Choose the Right Synonym for pollute

contaminate, taint, pollute, defile mean to make impure or unclean. contaminate implies intrusion of or contact with dirt or foulness from an outside source. water contaminated by industrial wastes taint stresses the loss of purity or cleanliness that follows contamination. tainted meat a politician's tainted reputation pollute, sometimes interchangeable with contaminate, distinctively may imply that the process which begins with contamination is complete and that what was pure or clean has been made foul, poisoned, or filthy. the polluted waters of the river defile implies befouling of what could or should have been kept clean and pure or held sacred and commonly suggests violation or desecration. defile a hero's memory with slanderous innuendo

Examples of pollute in a Sentence

Miles of beaches were polluted by the oil spill. Car exhaust pollutes the air.

Recent Examples on the Web

However, out of the non-recyclable waste, merely 28.4% could be treated before being disposed off, leaving the rest to pollute landfills or rivers, and seas, according to TERI. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "India’s plastic waste crisis is too big, even for Modi," 28 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, the firm continued to pollute, failed to file required reports in 2003, 2004, and 2005, and was fined more than a hundred thousand dollars by the Environmental Protection Agency. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of Trump," 19 Aug. 2019 There are many ways to pollute the online information flow. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "How Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft Created an Eavesdropping Explosion—Data Sheet," 8 Aug. 2019 Some commissioners were concerned about the 120-day lifespan of the rodenticide and its potential to pollute soils, nearby waters and wildlife. Will Houston, The Mercury News, "‘Like dropping a nuclear bomb on this island’: Feds delay Farallon Islands poison airdrop bid," 11 July 2019 For the first time, the U.S. has generated more energy from renewables than from coal, marking a landmark for non-polluting energy. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "For the first time, the U.S. got more electricity from renewables than coal," 27 June 2019 The sky was uncharacteristically blue that week because air-polluting factories had shut down for the summit. Washington Post, "Trump administration unveils its new Africa strategy — with wins and snags," 20 June 2019 Much of the money would go to South Coast Air Quality Management District efforts to increase non-polluting transportation, including electric cars and trucks. Patrick Mcgreevy, latimes.com, "California gas tax goes up July 1, but leaders say road repairs need even more money," 20 June 2019 Here are some alternatives to water-polluting sunscreen. Caitlin Etherton, National Geographic, "Venice is flooded with tourists—visit these floating cities instead," 16 May 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pollute

Middle English, from Latin pollutus, past participle of polluere, from por- (akin to Latin per through) + -luere (akin to Latin lutum mud, Greek lyma dirt, defilement) — more at for

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Statistics for pollute

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for pollute

The first known use of pollute was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for pollute

pollute

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pollute

: to make (land, water, air, etc.) dirty and not safe or suitable to use

pollute

verb
pol·​lute | \ pə-ˈlüt How to pronounce pollute (audio) \
polluted; polluting

Kids Definition of pollute

: to spoil or make impure especially with waste made by humans Factories pollute the stream.

Other Words from pollute

polluter noun

pollute

transitive verb
pol·​lute | \ pə-ˈlüt How to pronounce pollute (audio) \
polluted; polluting

Medical Definition of pollute

1 : to make physically impure or unclean
2 : to contaminate (an environment) especially with man-made waste

Other Words from pollute

polluter noun
pollutive \ -​ˈlüt-​iv How to pronounce pollutive (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on pollute

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pollute

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pollute

Spanish Central: Translation of pollute

Nglish: Translation of pollute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pollute for Arabic Speakers

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