Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[verb uh-duhl-tuh-reyt; adjective uh-duhl-ter-it, -tuh-reyt] /verb əˈdʌl təˌreɪt; adjective əˈdʌl tər ɪt, -təˌreɪt/
verb (used with object), adulterated, adulterating.
to debase or make impure by adding inferior materials or elements; use cheaper, inferior, or less desirable goods in the production of (any professedly genuine article):
to adulterate food.
impure or debased; cheapened in quality or purity.
Origin of adulterate
1580-90; < Latin adulterātus mixed, adulterated (past participle of adulterāre), equivalent to ad- ad- + -ulter (perhaps combining form of alter other; see alter) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
adulterator, noun
unadulterate, adjective
Can be confused
adulterer, adulterate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for adulterate
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for adulterate


verb (əˈdʌltəˌreɪt)
(transitive) to debase by adding inferior material: to adulterate milk with water
adjective (əˈdʌltərɪt; -ˌreɪt)
adulterated; debased or impure
a less common word for adulterous
Derived Forms
adulteration, noun
adulterator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin adulterāre to corrupt, commit adultery, probably from alter another, hence to approach another, commit adultery
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for adulterate

1530s, back-formation from adulteration, or else from Latin adulteratus, past participle of adulterare "to falsify, corrupt," also "to commit adultery." Earlier verb was adulter (late 14c.). Related: Adulterated; adulterating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for adulterate

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for adulterate

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for adulterate