Thesaurus

pollute

verb

Synonyms and Antonyms of pollute

  1. to make unfit for use by the addition of something harmful or undesirable outmoded factories polluting the air Synonyms of pollute befoul, defile, foul, poison, contaminate, taintWords Related to pollute infect; begrime, besmirch, blacken, dirty, foul up, grime, mire, muddy, smirch, smudge, soil, stain, sully; corrupt, rot, spoil; adulterate, doctor; dilute, water downNear Antonyms of pollute clarify, clean, cleanse, clear, distill (also distil), purge; filter; disinfect, sanitize, sterilizeAntonyms of pollute decontaminate, purify

Synonym Discussion of 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


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