pol·​lu·​tion | \ pə-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce pollution (audio) \

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

Automakers face pressure to invest large amounts of money in new technologies such as electric and autonomous cars to meet air pollution limits in Europe and China and fend off competition from tech companies such as Uber and Waymo. Danica Kirka, The Seattle Times, "Honda to shut plant in Brexit-shaken Britain," 20 Feb. 2019 Mainly because, as mentioned earlier, carbon pollution was lower than expected in the early years of the program. David Roberts, Vox, "California’s cap-and-trade system may be too weak to do its job," 12 Dec. 2018 The Verge spoke with Fowkes about the new project and how sound pollution is disturbing the natural world. Angela Chen, The Verge, "This map lets you hear what the world sounds like without humans," 9 Dec. 2018 The reform was also kickstarted by increased urban air pollution. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Public transit’s missed opportunity," 20 Nov. 2018 Uber—which faces ride-share competition in London from ViaVan and soon Ola, a company based in India—has responded to Khan's air pollution claims. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "London's Mayor Wants to Cap the Number of Uber Drivers in the City," 16 Aug. 2018 Plus, there’s no immediate sun or air pollution exposure, which can attribute to further pigmentation and fine lines. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Game-Changing Ingredient That’s Missing From Your Daily Moisturizer," 19 July 2018 Eco-Dry-Clean About 85 percent of dry cleaners use a chemical called perchloroethylene (perc for short) that’s linked to respiratory issues, birth defects, and air pollution. Lindsay Talbot, Marie Claire, "Your Everything Guide to a Sustainable Closet," 19 July 2018 In December, the Tribune reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had ordered General Iron to conduct detailed air pollution testing, a step that signaled a potential third federal crackdown on the business since the 1990s. Ryan Ori, chicagotribune.com, "General Iron to sell North Side land site, move out in 2020," 13 July 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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Last Updated

9 Mar 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 How to pronounce pollution (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pollution (audio) \

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

Comments on pollution

What made you want to look up pollution? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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