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pollution

[puh-loo-shuh n]
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noun
  1. the act of polluting or the state of being polluted.
  2. the introduction of harmful substances or products into the environment: air pollution.
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Origin of pollution

1350–1400; Middle English pollucioun (< Old French) < Late Latin pollūtiōn-, stem of pollūtiō defilement; see pollute, -ion
Related formsself-pol·lu·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pollution

pollution

noun
  1. the act of polluting or the state of being polluted
  2. harmful or poisonous substances introduced into an environment
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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

Word Origin and History for pollution

n.

mid-14c., "discharge of semen other than during sex," later, "desecration, defilement" (late 14c.), from Late Latin pollutionem (nominative pollutio) "defilement," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin polluere "to soil, defile, contaminate," from por- "before" + -luere "smear," from PIE root *leu- "dirt; make dirty" (cf. Latin lutum "mud, mire, clay," lues "filth;" Greek lyma "filth, dirt, disgrace," lymax "rubbish, refuse;" Old Irish loth "mud, dirt;" Lithuanian lutynas "pool, puddle"). Sense of "contamination of the environment" first recorded c.1860, but not common until c.1955.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pollution in Medicine

pollution

(pə-lōōshən)
n.
  1. The act or process of polluting or the state of being polluted, especially the contamination of soil, water, or the atmosphere by the discharge of harmful substances.
  2. A pollutant or group of pollutants.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

pollution in Science

pollution

[pə-lōōshən]
  1. The contamination of air, water, or soil by substances that are harmful to living organisms. Pollution can occur naturally, for example through volcanic eruptions, or as the result of human activities, such as the spilling of oil or disposal of industrial waste.♦ Light from cities and towns at night that interferes with astronomical observations is known as light pollution. It can also disturb natural rhythms of growth in plants and other organisms.♦ Continuous noise that is loud enough to be annoying or physically harmful is known as noise pollution.♦ Heat from hot water that is discharged from a factory into a river or lake, where it can kill or endanger aquatic life, is known as thermal pollution.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.