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.
Recent Examples on the Web More air pollution and smog cause higher levels of carbon dioxide, resulting in warmer temperatures. cleveland, 12 May 2022 Terry Hughes, a marine biologist at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, tells the publication that bigger threats to corals are climate change, pollution and overfishing. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 May 2022 California is scrutinizing Exxon Mobil as part of a first-of-its-kind investigation into the fossil fuel industry’s alleged role in causing a global plastic pollution crisis. Sammy Rothstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 South of Lake Underhill and Orlando Executive Airport, Lake Giles is one of 10 lakes scheduled for a series of applications with a chemical compound called alum that latches onto stormwater, fertilizer and other pollution and crystallizes. Kevin Spear, Orlando Sentinel, 5 May 2022 Expect even skin tone, deeply hydration and ongoing antioxidant protection against the damaging effects of pollution and blue light. Angela Lei, Forbes, 3 May 2022 Miners have struggled over the past decade to attract investors to the sector, which faces concerns about pollution and other risks for people who live near dig sites. Dave Michaels, WSJ, 28 Apr. 2022 Scientists said they were particularly struck that habitat loss from deforestation, agriculture and other causes was a much larger threat to most reptiles than factors like pollution and climate change. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2022 Coastal development, ocean plastic pollution and overfishing all take their toll, allowing destructive algae to proliferate. Katie Peek, Scientific American, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of pollution

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Statistics for pollution

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pollution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pollution. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pollution


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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