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pollute

[puh-loot]
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verb (used with object), pol·lut·ed, pol·lut·ing.
  1. to make foul or unclean, especially with harmful chemical or waste products; dirty: to pollute the air with smoke.
  2. to make morally unclean; defile.
  3. to render ceremonially impure; desecrate: to pollute a house of worship.
  4. Informal. to render less effective or efficient: The use of inferior equipment has polluted the company's service.

Origin of pollute

1325–75; Middle English polute < Latin pollūtus past participle of polluere to soil, defile, equivalent to pol-, assimilated variant of por- (see pollicitation; here marking the action as complete) + -lū- base of -luere (akin to lutum mud, dirt, lustrum muddy place) + -tus past participle suffix
Related formspol·lut·er, nounpol·lu·tive, adjectivenon·pol·lut·ing, adjectiveun·pol·lut·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1. soil, befoul. 2. taint, contaminate, vitiate, corrupt, debase, deprave.

Antonyms

1, 2. purify.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for pollutive

pollute

verb (tr)
  1. to contaminate, as with poisonous or harmful substances
  2. to make morally corrupt or impure; sully
  3. to desecrate or defile
Derived Formspolluter, noun

Word Origin

C14 polute, from Latin polluere to defile
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 pollutive

pollute

v.

late 14c., "to defile," a back formation from pollution, or else from Latin pollutus, past participle of polluere "to defile, pollute, contaminate." Related: Polluted; polluting. Meaning "make physically foul" is from 1540s; specific sense "contaminate the environment" emerged from late 19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pollutive in Medicine

pollute

(pə-lōōt)
v.
  1. To make unfit for or harmful to living things, especially by the addition of waste matter; contaminate.
  2. To make less suitable for an activity, especially by the introduction of unwanted factors.
Related formspol•luter n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.