pol·​lu·​tion | \ pə-ˈlü-shən \

Definition of pollution

1 : the action of polluting especially by environmental contamination with man-made waste also : the condition of being polluted
2 : pollutant

Examples of pollution in a Sentence

industrial practices that have caused pollution of the air and water The tests showed high levels of pollution in the water. The fish are dying of pollution.
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Recent Examples on the Web

There’s not a clear solution to microfiber pollution, especially when looking at the fashion industry’s issues with sustainability. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "Your Yoga Pants Are Polluting the Water You Drink," 19 Dec. 2018 In addition, the neighborhood will contain an Urban Consolidation Center, which will distribute freight and collect waste centrally via robots and a tunnel system, eliminating noise, pollution, and congestion. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Sidewalk Labs’s updated smart city plan aims for ‘people-first public realm’," 30 Nov. 2018 Another nonprofit, which helps protect marine habitats from the effects of global warming, pollution, and commercial fishing. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "David Beckham Kissed His Kid on the Mouth and For Some Reason That's a Big Deal," 29 Nov. 2018 Forcing utilities to pay for relatively more expensive coal generation to keep it alive would lead to higher rates for their customers to no additional benefit (and additional pollution and emissions). Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Trump’s coal rescue is getting more complicated," 16 Oct. 2018 The antiquated enclosures were widely considered inhumane by modern standards, as were the noisy environment and pollution, and pressure from animal rights groups grew to close the zoo. Luis Andres Henao, Fox News, "Giraffe, rhino deaths raise alarm at former Buenos Aires zoo," 22 Aug. 2018 Because net-zero homes are sealed from the outside world, their interior environments are quieter, freer of pollution and more comfortable than conventional construction. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Why Your Next Home Might Not Need Any Energy at All," 22 Dec. 2018 The best advice is to address the source of indoor air pollution and ventilate your home. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "Do Air Purifiers Actually Work?," 17 Dec. 2018 The product will work to block UV rays and other effects of pollution. Kelsey Castañon, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About Acne — and How to Get Rid of It," 4 Dec. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near pollution







poll watcher

Statistics for pollution

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for pollution

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

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English Language Learners Definition of pollution

: the action or process of making land, water, air, etc., dirty and not safe or suitable to use
: substances that make land, water, air, etc., dirty and not safe or suitable to use


pol·​lu·​tion | \ pə-ˈlü-shən \

Kids Definition of pollution

: the action of making something impure and often unsafe or unsuitable for use : the state of being polluted


pol·​lu·​tion | \ pə-ˈlü-shən \

Medical Definition of pollution

1 : the action of polluting or the condition of being polluted
2 : pollutant

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More from Merriam-Webster on pollution

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pollution

Spanish Central: Translation of pollution

Nglish: Translation of pollution for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pollution for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pollution

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excited commotion or publicity

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