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 pollute (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for pollute

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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 Gardening, for me, is a respite from the distractions that hijack my peace of mind and pollute my imagination. Danielle Chang, Town & Country, "The Pleasures of Gardening... And Rosé," 22 Apr. 2021 Last month, the Corps suspended that permit so the EPA can finally determine whether discharge from the copper mine will pollute the tribe's water. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, "EPA botched oversight of permits for PolyMet mine, internal investigation finds," 21 Apr. 2021 Democrats on the environment committee say the single-use containers are major polluters that should be banned because the products do not break down naturally, pollute the oceans and take up excessive space in landfills. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "Connecticut bill to ban foam takeout containers in 2023 advances," 12 Mar. 2021 Duty rebates overwhelmingly fall into the pockets of people who fly and pollute. The Economist, "Time to end duty-free," 27 Feb. 2021 Thousands of tonnes of untreated and unsegregated waste pollute the country’s land, water and air, while serving as toxic foraging grounds for a plethora of wild animals. Cara Tejpal, Quartz India, "In photos: India’s diverse wildlife is drowning and dying in human filth," 18 Feb. 2021 These tiny pieces can easily pollute the environment without most of us even realizing it. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "Earth Day 2021: 10 eco-friendly products to buy on sale now," 22 Apr. 2021 These fires pollute the air, destroy property, threaten water supplies and endanger wildlife and people. Cara Korte, CBS News, "One senator's idea to save forests and help the climate — and create jobs," 20 Apr. 2021 These innovations can be more suitable to tough contexts, more resilient to extreme events, have smaller climate impacts, pollute less, and produce resources such as clean water, compost, fuel, and even insect protein. Chelsea Wald, Wired, "The Pandemic Proved That Our Toilets Are Crap," 18 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for pollute

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pollute

Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pollute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pollute. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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 pollute (audio) \ adjective

Comments on pollute

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