pollution

noun

pol·​lu·​tion pə-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce pollution (audio)
1
a
: the action of polluting
especially : the action of making an environment unsuitable or unsafe for use by introducing man-made waste
Abandoned mining and milling operations are already implicated in pollution of the river with toxic and radioactive waste products … Larry Brown
b
: the condition of being polluted
A three-year study … has indicated that the lake already is suffering from severe pollution and that any additional development will exacerbate it.Anthony DePalma
2
: something that pollutes
especially : something (such as man-made waste) that makes an environment unsuitable or unsafe for use
tested the levels of pollution [=pollutants] in the water

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 California accuses Chevron of pollution Nine months after Newsom appointed Guerra to the Air Board, Newsom announced a major state lawsuit against the world’s top five largest oil subsidiaries, including Chevron. Theresa Clift, Sacramento Bee, 16 Feb. 2024 The agency feels confident that the radius of Gore’s pollution includes private wells sampled within a quarter mile of the Cherry Hill and Fair Hill sites, Apperson said. Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 15 Feb. 2024 Meanwhile, Google is using AI to map oil and gas infrastructure to create a global map of pollution sources. Justine Calma, The Verge, 14 Feb. 2024 Further requirements to cut pollution will be introduced as part of the interim climate goals for 2040, fueling uncertainty. Nayla Razzouk, Fortune Europe, 13 Feb. 2024 Their methods showed that some of air pollution’s most common chemical agents—ozone and nitrate radicals—significantly deteriorate the wildflower’s scent, deterring the moths from landing on polluted plants. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Feb. 2024 And people may not know when they’re being exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution. Christopher Flavelle, New York Times, 12 Feb. 2024 Climate change and pollution are also major threats. Angela Dewan, CNN, 12 Feb. 2024 That pollution probably has resulted in some short-term health effects, including difficulty breathing and heart palpitations, the report said. Tony Briscoe, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pollution.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near pollution

Cite this Entry

“Pollution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pollution. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

pollution

noun
pol·​lu·​tion pə-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce pollution (audio)
1
: the action of polluting : the state of being polluted
air pollution
compare noise pollution, thermal pollution
2

Medical Definition

pollution

noun
pol·​lu·​tion pə-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce pollution (audio)
1
: the action of polluting or the condition of being polluted
2
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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